Two bodies found, gunfight ends in south Kashmir

Srinagar, Dec 9 (IANS) A prolonged gunfight that began on Wednesday night between security forces and militants in a south Kashmir village ended on Friday morning and two bodies have been recovered, officials said.

A police officer said security forces used explosives to demolish a house that was used by militants as their hideout and had been at the centre of the firing for nearly 40 hours.

The house was used as a fortified bunker by the militants, the officer said.

“Firing between the security forces and the militants has stopped. Two dead bodies were recovered,” said the officer, adding the combing operations were on.

Residents said at least five other houses were damaged in Hassanpoora village in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, some 40 km from here.

They said security forces used bulldozers to remove the rubble of the demolished house from under which the bodies and two AK-47 assault rifles were recovered.

On Thursday, police claimed three Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were killed in the gunfight.

The fighting resumed early on Friday when the combing operation was re-started and the cordon around the shootout site further tightened.

The killings of militants triggered clashes between mobs and the security forces on Thursday evening. The clashes continued on Friday.

A protesting youth was killed and another critically injured on Thursday some distance away from the gunfight site.

All mobile phone and internet services have been suspended in Anantnag and Kulgam districts to prevent spread of rumours.

LeT commander Abu Dujana, one of the most wanted militants in the state, was earlier rumoured to be among the gunmen holed up in the house that was targeted by the security forces.

Locals said he escaped from the hideout in Hassanpoora village, which lies close to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s ancestral Bijbehara town.

But security officials neither confirmed nor denied if he was among the trapped militants.

–IANS

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