Army Jawan, militant killed in Rafiabad encounter

One army jawan and a militant were killed on Wednesday in an encounter between militants and security forces in the Ladura area of Rafiabad in north Kashmir.

Army Jawan, militant killed in Kashmir encounterWhile the jawan was killed in the morning when militants fired at security forces, the militant identified as Riyaz Ahmad of Brath Kalan in Sopore was killed when the army razed the residential house where the militants were holed up.

According to officials, Ahmad was a local commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen.

Earlier reports had suggested that two militants were holed up in the house. Army’s 32 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and Special Operations Group (SOG), Rafiabad, and SOG, Sopore, were engaged in a gunbattle with militants.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that police had information about the presence of two local militants, including Imitayaz Kandoo of Sopore, a close aide of Qayoom Najar, the disbanded Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militant. Kandoo, according to police, was involved in some kilings in the Sopore area. The militant has a bounty of Rs 10 lakh on his head.

Police officials, however, are now saying Kandoo was not present in the area.

A police spokesman said the slain militant was affiliated with Lashkar-e-Islam, a breakaway group of HM. He was involved in a number of killings in Sopore and adjoining areas, besides threatening landlords of mobile towers’ sites and mobile franchise owners.

Last week, three militants were killed and a foreign militant, Sajad Hussain, was captured alive after an encounter with security forces.

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