Soldier, 3 militants killed in separate gunbattles in Kashmir
A soldier and three militants, including the deputy commander of the IS-aligned Ansar Ghazwatul Hind group, were killed in two separate gun battles in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday, police said.
The soldier and two militants possibly of the Pakistan-backed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit were shot dead in Redwani village in Kulgam district.
The soldier's identity has not been revealed while the identity of the two militants was being ascertained.
A sub-inspector and a constable of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were also injured in the fighting which led to street protests by civilians.
The security forces had surrounded Redwani around 2 a.m. after receiving a tip that two to three terrorists were hiding in the south Kashmir village.
Amid the search operations, the hidden terrorists opened fire, triggering the gun battle.
As the fighting erupted, youths in the area resorted to heavy stone pelting at the security forces in a bid to let the militants escape. The security forces fired used tear gas and then fired pellets to disperse the mob. Four to five youths suffered pellet wounds.
The second gunfight in Pulwama district's Hafoo village, which began in Tral area around 7 a.m., saw the death of Shakir Hassan Dar, the deputy chief of the Ansar Ghazwatul Hind led by Zakir Musa, a police officer said.
Zakir Musa is said to be aligned with the Islamic State although authorities say that the global terror group does not have any major presence in the state.
Authorities suspended mobile Internet services in both districts.
Train services between the Kashmir Valley and Bannihal town in Jammu region also remained suspended.
(With inputs from agencies.)