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SRINAGAR: Five militants were killed Sunday in an encounter with security forces in Kulgam area of Kellam Devsar in South Kashmir. The encounter broke out at 6 am after a joint team of Police, Rashtriya Rifles and the CRPF launched a cordon and search operation following a tip off about the presence of militants in the area. The fire fight ended at 12 noon as the security killed all five militants.

“Five militants have been killed. Weapons and warlike stores were recovered from the site of encounter,” army spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said. Arms and ammunition have been recovered from the encounter site. Army and police officials said the militants were locals. Security forces initially suspected two to three militants were hiding in the village. Authorities suspended internet in the area after the encounter started.

There were clashes near encounter site between security forces and locals who tried to break the cordon. At least 8 civilians and four CRPF personnel were injured due to stone pelting after clashes broke out in the area. Last week, Army, in a brief encounter, had killed top Laskhar commander in neighbouring Pulwama district. Earlier this week, district commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant’s outfit was killed in a brief encounter in Pulwama.

The encounter broke out when a joint patrolling party of army and police was fired upon by militants at Chakoora area of Pulwama district, a police spokesman said. The dead identified as Irfan Ahmed Sheikh was affiliated with LeT and was known as district commander of the outfit for Pulwama. Citizens are requested not to venture inside encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any.

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