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Kashmir Crown

Clashes erupt, internet, train services suspended, thousands attend funeral prayers Six militants killed in Bijbehara encounter

Srinagar, Nov 23 : At least six militants affiliated with Hizb and LeT were Friday killed in a gunfight that raged between forces and militants in Shalagul area of Bijbehara area of South Kashmir's Anantnag district.

Police said a cordon and search operation was launched jointly by government forces at the onset of dawn today inside a forest area of Bijbehara following input about the presence of militants.
As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the militants. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight in which six militants were killed, police said.
“Incriminating materials including huge quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. Police has registered a case and initiated investigation in the matter,” police said adding that there was no collateral damage.
Police said that among the six militants, one identified as Azad Ahmad Malik alias Dada of Arwani who was the accused in Rising Kashmir Editor-in-Chief Shujaat Bukhari’s killing was also killed.
As reported previously Malik has been blamed by the police for the killing of journalist and Editor Shujaat Bukhari.
The slain militants killed in the gunfight were identified as Azad Ahmad Malik alias Dada Malik son of Nazir Ahmad Malik of Idgah Mohalla Arwani and Basit Ishtiyaq Mir son of Ishtiyaq Ahmad Mir of Pushwara Khanabal. Malik and Mir were associated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit.
While two slain militants Unais /Anees Shafi Bhat, son of Mohd Shafi Bhat of Takiya Maqsood Shah, Atif Najar of Waghama area of Bijbehara were associated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants
The other two militants are Firdous Najar of Machpona Pulwama and Shahid Bashir of Kawani Awantipora in Pulwama district.
Police have appealed public not to venture inside the encounter zone till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any.
Srinagar based Army spokesman, Col Rajesh Kalia said six militants killed, while the operation was underway.
"Weapons and warlike stores recovered," he said.
Meanwhile, authorities also suspended mobile internet service since midnight in twin districts of Anantnag and Kulgam districts to prevent spread of tensions.
Besides, clashes also erupted in several areas of Anantnag main town following the killing of six militants in a gunfight with government forces on Friday.
Witnesses said youth took to the streets at Khanabal, Laizbal and its adjacent areas amid pro-freedom sloganeering.
They said youth threw stones towards the contingents of government force who responded by aerial firing, tear gas shells and pellets to disperse the protesters.
Meanwhile, a spontaneous shutdown is being observed in Anantnag and Bijbehara townships against the militant killings.
Meanwhile, thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of slain Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Azad Ahmad Malik at Arwani area of Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Friday.
Witnesses said five large number of people thronged Arwani to participate in the funeral of slain Malik.
They said five back to back funeral prayers were held for the slain militant. His body has been kept at a local school ground at Arwani.
The huge gathering was also witnessed in other funerals as well.
Local train services was suspended on Friday following a gunfight that left six militants dead in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Friday.
Authorities suspended rail services on Srinagar-Bhanihal track for security reasons. 

The Kashmir Walla

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