Budgam: Militants escape during encounter leaving arms and ammunition behind, one...

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Srinagar: A group of militants gave the slip to security forces during a gun battle in central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Thursday morning, evading a cordon that was laid around their hideout.

The local police, CRPF and the army launched a joint operation in Pathanpora village of Budgam district after learning militants were present in the area. As the troops began surrounding the militants’ hideout, security forces exchanged fire with the militants.

However, the militants escaped under cover of darkness. The operation continued till later on Thursday morning, and it was called off only when officials learnt the militants had evaded the security forces.

A senior police officer, who declined to be named, said two Jaish-e-Mohammed militants managed to escape during the gun battle at Pathanpora. “The militants left some arms and ammunition behind before they escaped,” he said.

An army spokesman said one suspect has been arrested and arms and ammunition were found at the spot.

“The operation was launched on specific information and while the cordon was being laid, the terrorists managed to escape. One suspect has been apprehended and one Chinese pistol, a grenade, six magazines and 147 rounds of ammunition were recovered,’’ the army spokesman said.

Since Monday, security forces have killed 14 militants, mostly locals, in three operations in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. The militants were buried 100 km away in Baramulla district.

Police didn’t reveal the identities of the dead militants but said they were affiliated with the Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Police also said top commanders were among the dead militants.

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