Shopian encounter: Two jawans killed, three injured; operation underway

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Three terrorists were killed in an overnight encounter with security forces at Zainapora in Shopian district in Jammu and Kasmir.

Irate crowds clashed with the security forces at several places in the area during and after the encounter.

According to sources, the firing lasted for 10 minutes during the night after which a search Operation was launched. There were reports that one of the militants could be a top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Munir Khan, said, "The terrorists initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics, and mortars who were believed to be in the village".

Residents said forces blasted four houses in an attempt to kill the militants who are "shifting their location".

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Although a few cars were held up by the march, police say the demonstration is peaceful and there have been no arrests. The helicopter went down close to where right-wing groups and counterprotesters converged Friday night and Saturday.

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Personnel from 55 Rashtriya Rifles, special operations group of police and Central Reserve Police Force are jointly taking part in the ongoing operation, the KMS said.

Owais, a resident of Kakpora area of Pulwama, succumbed to pellet injuries at SMHS Hospital in Srinagar Sunday evening.

The injured was taken to an Army hospital in Drugmulla where doctors stated his condition to be stable.

At least seven protesters were reported injured in the clashes. This prompted the security forces to wait till dawn while keeping a tight cordon around the area before launching a major strike. He had vanished from the militancy scene and was believed to be dead with the Hurriyat offering his in-absentia funeral prayers a year ago.

Internet services have been blocked in Badgam district following the identification of Itoo among the slain militants.