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Four Hizbul Militants Killed in Encounter with Security Forces in J&K's Shopian District: Police

Representative image.

Representative image.

The latest successful encounter by the security forces took the total number of slain terrorists during the past 24 hours in South Kashmir to nine.

In yet another operational success, security forces killed four Hizbul Mujahideen militants on Monday in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district, taking the total number of slain terrorists during the past 24 hours in South Kashmir to nine.

Lauding the role of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, CRPF and the army, General officer Commanding (GoC) 15 Corps Lt Gen BS Raju said the operation was conducted in a "smooth manner" with no collateral damage to civilian property.

Addressing a hurriedly convened press conference at the Victor Force headquarters at Awantipora, Gen Raju said the operation was conducted smoothly because of the professionalism of all the agencies involved.

"The intelligence given by Jammu and Kashmir Police, solid crowd control done by the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) and the appropriate tactics that were used by the forces on ground ensured that it was done in the most professional manner," he said.

Gen Raju said he was aware of the difficult circumstances under which the operation was conducted, which involved evacuating considerable number of civilians from the vicinity.

"I would credit the local population, which kind of facilitated the conduct of the operation in such a smooth manner."

Gen Raju, replying to a question about the number of terrorists in South Kashmir, said that around 100 local militants and 25 foreign terrorists were operational in South Kashmir.

"We can give a rough figure of approximately 100 odd local terrorists we are looking at and may be another 20-25 foreign terrorists is the number we are broadly looking at," he said.

The senior Army officer, who was flanked by Victor Force Major General A Sengupta and Inspector General of CRPF Rajesh Kumar, said Pakistan is "unhappy" with peace in the Kashmir Valley as it wants to keep the pot boiling by pushing armed terrorists and peddling misinformation.

"...as I said earlier that Pakistan is unhappy because it is in its larger plan to keep the pot boiling in the valley. That is how the relevance of the Pakistan army remains within Pakistan.

"As far as Pakistan's contribution to violence here, it is a combination of two things -- inducting weapons and pushing terrorists...and the second is the information warfare pakistan intends to fight. I will again make an appeal that don't consume

Pakistani media, it is peddling misinformation and that is something I would like to say even at the cost of repetition," he said.

Giving details, Maj Gen Sengupta said the security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Pinjora area of the district in South Kashmir this morning after receiving information about the presence of militants there.

The civilian population was evacuated and the forces drew fire from terrorists even before an appeal for their surrender could be made. This is the second encounter in Shopian district in the past 24 hours.

Five Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including a self-styled commander, were killed in an eight-hour gun battle with security forces in the district's Reban area on Sunday.