Two Kashmir guerrillas die in gunfight, man killed in blast

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Srinagar, Jan 20 (IANS) Two separatist guerrillas were killed on Wednesday in a gunfight with the security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, a police official said.

Two civilians were injured in an explosion after the gunfight ended, and one of them one died later.

“Two militants belonging to the Hizbul Mujahideen – identified as Riyaz Naik and Lateef Dar – were killed in a gun battle with the security forces today (Wednesday) in Naina Batpora village,” the official told IANS here.

He said the house used as a fortified bunker by the separatists was destroyed in the gunfight.

“We suspect the body of a third militant was buried under the debris,” he added.

The police officer identified the deceased civilian as Parvaiz Ahmad Guroo, 26.

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Troops of the 55 Rashtriya Rifles, 182 and 183 Battalions of Central Reserve Police Force and Special Operations Group (SOG) of the state police surrounded the house of Abdul Salam Wani in Naina Batpora on Tuesday evening after a tip-off that guerrillas were hiding there.

When the security forces asked the guerrillas to surrender, they resorted to indiscriminate firing that triggered the gunfight, police said.

While the villagers alleged the security forces fired at protestors gathered at the spot after the gunfight, police said the two people were injured in a grenade explosion as the area residents began to remove the debris of the house.

An SOG vehicle was torched by agitated protestors in Kakapora town of Pulwama district as the news of the civilian’s death spread in the area.

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Tension prevailed as senior civil and police officers rushed to the spot to defuse the situation.

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