One militant’s body was recovered from under the debris at the encounter site in Thumna, Chatpora village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday.

Locals said that during the searches that the joint team of forces blasted the house to set it on fire and subsequently razed it on the rubble.

Today morning as the search operation was concluded body of only one militant has been recovered from under the debris, they said.

He was identified as Sajad Ahmad Shah son of Ali Mohammad Shah, a resident of Gund, Chogul, Handwara, Kupwara.

The other militants believed to be two in number have managed to break the military cordon while taking the advantage of clashes in the area, they said.

Scores of youth were injured during the clashes in forces action near the encounter site soon after the news about the encounter spread.

Among the injured, one teenage boy Faizan Ahmad Poswal suffered serious bullet wounds in the forces action and was taken to hospital where he succumbed later.

“All three militants eliminated. Good job boys,” DGP SP Vaid had tweeted yesterday in the evening.

A house in ruins at the gunfight site in Pulwama. Photograph by Vikar Syed

A police spokesperson in a statement issued here said that pursuing credible leads regarding the presence of militants in Thamna village of Pulwama, a joint patrol of the security forces yesterday launched searches in the afternoon inside the village.

“As the searches were in progress and security forces advanced towards the suspected house, militants hiding inside fired upon the joint patrol of security forces leading to an encounter,” he said.

During the encounter, the militants initially took few civilians hostage inside the house who were however safely evacuated by the Security Forces, he said.

Initial information suggested the presence of three militants inside the house but as the final search was carried out, a lone body of a militant was recovered, he said.

Apparently, the other hiding militants managed to escape from the spot after making indiscriminate fire around the site of the encounter, he said.

“In the incident, five civilians got injured in the cross firing and were evacuated to the hospital for medical treatment where unfortunately one succumbed to his injuries though others are stated to be stable now,” he said.

“In the encounter, the slain was identified as Sajad Ahmad Shah of Gund, Chogul, Handwara. The slain was affiliated with LeT. He was involved in a number of attacks on the security establishments and civilian atrocities,” the spokesperson said.

Rifle and ammunition were also seized from the site of the encounter, he said.

“Police have registered a case in this regard and further investigation is going on, the spokesperson added.

People on the debris of the houses at the gunfight site in Pulwama on Saturday morning. Photograph by Vikar Syed

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