Two local Hizb ul Mujahideen militants were killed in a brief shootout in Khumriyal area of north Kashmir's Kupwara district on Thursday.Reports reaching GNS said that a vehicle Hyundai SX bearing Registration no. JK01G-7770) reached near the Khumriyal Bridge Thursday afternoon where the joint team of SOG and army had laid a naka.The vehicle tried to return back after spotting the joint team searching the vehicles, prompting forces to chase the vehicle which was some distance away. The chase resulted into an encounter which led to killing of two militants.SSP Kupwara, Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar said the gunfight broke out Thursday afternoon after Special Operations Group (SOG) of police and army launched a search operation in Khumriyal area following inputs about the movement the militants through the area.He said the gunfight began after a vehicle in which militants were traveling in was signaled by the search party to stop. “Two militants have been killed in the gunfight,” he said, adding that two rifles were recovered from their possession.IGP Kashmir SP Pani while confirming the incident to GNS identified the slain militants as Zahoor Ahmad Mir of Thayan Kalaroos and Bilal Ahmad Shah of Shatmuqam village of Kupwara.
The bodies of the duo were recovered along with weapons, which include an Insas rifle looted from a cop on Tuesday in Kandhar village in the district, he said.Both the militants were involved in several attacks on the security establishments in the area, he added.A police spokesperson in a statement said:"No collateral damage occurred during the encounter".He said the bodies of the slain were handed over to their respective families after conducting all legal medico formalities.Police has registered a case and investigation into the matter has been initiated, the spokesperson said.Meanwhile, in wake of the killing of the two local Hizb militants, authorities snapped internet services in Kupwara and Handwara.Zahoor Ahmad Mir alias Usama, a resident of Thayan, Kalaroos had joined militancy on July 7 this year while as Bilal Ahmad Shah alias Shahbaz had joined on March 2. Both were part of Hizb Ul Mujahideen outfit.Following the killing of militants, most parts of the Lolab including Khumriyal, Cherkote, Kalaroos, Sogam, Takipora, Shatmuqam, Krusan, Lalpora shut down.Reports of protests and clashes were also received in Kalaroos, Shatmuqam, Chaiwan and Cherkote soon after the bodies of the slain reached their respective villages for last rites. (GNS)