Two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants who were a part of a hit squad of the outfit and responsible for civilian killings were gunned down in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district on Friday. Security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation at Khrew in Pampore area of the district following information about the presence of militants there, a police spokesman said. “During the search operation as the presence of terrorists got ascertained they were given repeated opportunities to surrender. However, they fired upon the search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” he said.
In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and their bodies retrieved from the site of the gun battle, the spokesman said. He identified them as Musaib Ahmad Bhat, resident of Khrew Pampore, and Muzamil Ahmad Rather, resident of Chakoora Pulwama. As per police records, Bhat had a history of terror crime records and was involved in planning and executing several terror attacks including civilian atrocities, the spokesman said. “He was also involved in the killing of a civilian, Javid Ahmad Malik, at Lurgam area of Tral and a part of the hit squad of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen responsible for civilian killing in South Kashmir,” he said. Rather had joined the terror ranks recently, he added.
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