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48-hour long Handwara Gunfight ends: Two militants killed, injured CRPF trooper succumbs in military hospital, toll 5

Suhail Khan

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Srinagar, March 3 : Two militants, five government forces personnel were killed as nearly 48-hour long gunfight ended at Babagund Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

While a militant and four goverment forces personnel including a CRPF Inspector were killed and eleven others were injured on Friday.

On Saturday morning, elite Para commandos from 3 and 9 battalion joined the already strengthened posse of government forces comprising army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles, 92 battalion CRPF and police’s Special Operation Group.

On Sunday morning, one more CRPF personnel succumbed to injuries while the militant beleived to be a foreigner who was changing locations was gunned down, a top police officer said, adding that searches are going on to find if there is any more militant body.

The CRPF trooper who succumbed today in army’s 92 base hospital Badamibagh Srinagar has been identified as Head Constable, Sham Narain Singh Yadav of CRPF 92, a senior police officer said.

With the killing of two militants, the overall death toll mounted to 8 including a civilian who was allegedly killed in government forces action amid clashes near the gunfight site on Friday.

The encounter broke out during the night between February 28 and March 1 after the joint team launched a cordon-and-search operation. A fierce encounter started and two militants were believed to have been killed.

However, when the joint search team went to retrieve the militant bodies amid a lull, one of the two militants, earlier believed to be dead stood up and fired indiscriminately. A CRPF Inspector namely Pintu Kumar and paramilitary trooper Vinod besides two policemen– Naseer Ahmad Kholi and Ghulam Mustafa Barah—were killed and eleven uniformed men, seven of the army men, were injured in the subsequent gunfight. A civilian Waseem Ahmad Mir was also killed in alleged government forces action amid clashes near the encounter site.

Three houses have also been razed to rubble during the course of gunfight. The three houses damaged belong to Manzoor Ahmad shah son of Ghulam Hassan, Fayaz Ahmad Peer son of Wali Mohammad and Imtiyaz Ahmad Bhat son of Ghulam Ahmad Bhat. Two cowsheds and a tin shed were also damaged so far, the officials added. (GNS)

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