Bodies Of Suspected LeT Commanders Recovered
SRINAGAR: Bodies of two suspected militants, believed to be district commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba, have been recovered from the site of encounter in south Kashmir's Arwani village even as fresh protests on Friday left at least dozen protesters injured.
Witnesses and police said clashes broke out on Friday morning in the village after forces launched a combing operation at the encounter site where five residential houses suffered extensive damage - one was reduced to rubble - after forces used IEDs to take out the suspects.
According to well placed police sources, two bodies were recovered from the debris which are believed to be of Abdul Majid Zargar and Wasim Ahmad, the Lashkar-e-Toiba's district commanders of Kulgam and Shopian district respectively.
Sources said Abu Dujana, the Lashkar's Kashmir chief, was also part of the meeting of the militants when forces laid a siege around the Arwani village on Wednesday evening after which the encounter started. The body of another militant is believed to be buried under the debris which is being cleared by forces using heavy machines.
The police has not confirmed the identity of the bodies so far.
"Two bodies and two AK-47 rifles have been recovered from the site of the encounter so far. They have been kept at a police station for identification purposes. The combing operation will take some more time," a senior police officer said.
Earlier, violent clashes broke out in the village after the protesters, who tried to storm the site of the encounter since early morning, were prevented from doing so by the forces. Witnesses said the firing stopped near the site at around 11 am after which the forces launched the combing operation.
"At least six persons were wounded in clashes of which one received a bullet injury in his leg. He was referred to a local hospital for treatment where his condition is stable," sources said.
A civilian was killed and another critically wounded when forces opened fire to disperse a protest demonstration in the village yesterday. The killing was strongly condemned by the opposition Congress, the Hurriyat as well as civil society groups.
Meanwhile, clashes between protesters and security forces broke out in various places of south Kashmir, the epicentre of the prevailing crisis in the Valley, soon after the encounter ended.
According to witnesses and police sources, protests and clashes erupted in Anantnag, Kulgam and Pulwama districts. They said clashes are going on in Bijbehara, Arwani, Kaimoh, Sangam and Pulwama. At least dozen protesters were injured in fresh clashes," sources said.