Srinagar, June 22 (IANS) The three militants killed in a gunfight with the security forces in Anantnag district belonged to the Islamic State terror group, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) S.P. Vaid said on Friday. This is the first official confirmation of any IS militant being killed in Kashmir.
The DGP said the militants were killed in the Khiram village encounter in Srigufwara area.
Vaid said: “The bodies of the slain terrorists can be seen inside the house where they were hiding. We are retrieving the bodies.
“A police constable also died during the encounter while we also lost a civilian.”
In a significant development, the police chief tweeted: “The slain terrorists were reportedly affiliated to Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK).”
On its website in 2017 the Islamic State had said that its Indian affiliate, Ansar Gazwatul Hind was being headed by Zakir Musa, a Kashmir militant commander.
In all three militants, a civilian and a policeman have been killed in the Anantnag gunfight.
Police sources said the civilian was identified as Muhammad Yusuf, the house owner where the militants were holed up. The gun battle is on.
“Hafeeza, the wife of the slain house owner has also sustained gunshot injury. She was shifted to hospital for treatment,” police said.
Other than this, a member of the special operations group (SOG) of the state police was also killed during the ongoing operation, while three other security personnel were injured.
Earlier, the security forces laid a cordon around the village following specific information about presence of four militants hiding in the house.
“As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired, triggering the encounter, which is still underway,” a police officer said.
Friday’s is the first gunfight after the state was put under the Governor’s rule.
Dozens of youth have started pelting stones at the security forces some distance from the encounter site.
Authorities have suspended mobile Internet services in the district to check spread of any kind of rumours.