2 Lashkar militants killed in Sopore gunfight Thousands attend funeral of Owais, Tahir

Two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were killed in an encounter with forces in Brath Kalan village of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Thursday.

DIG North Kashmir Range Atul Kumar Goyal said Army’s 22 Rashtria Rifles, Special Operation Group (SOG) of J&K Police and CRPF men had launched a joint combing and search operation in Brath Kalan area in Sopore on Wednesday evening after receiving information about presence of militants there.

He said as searches were going on, troops came under fire from militants hiding in the area.
DIG said the militants were asked to surrender but they refused and fired on forces.
“The fire was returned by the troops, triggering an encounter. In the ensuing encounter, two Lashkar militants were killed,” Kumar said.

The deceased militants were identified as Owais Ahmad Bhat alias Abu-Bakar son of Ghulam Mohammad Bhat of Gund Brath Sopore and Tahir Ahmad Dar alias Abu Abdullah son of Mohammad Ramzan Dar of Sadipora, Sopore.
Police said two AK-47 assault rifles and other ammunition from the site of encounter.
After the encounter started, mobile internet services were suspended in Sopore.
The classwork in all educational institutions across Sopore sub division was suspended today to maintain law and order problem.
The Sopore and its adjoining areas observed complete shutdown against the killing of two militants.
Intense clashes broke out between youth and forces in Brath Kalan area of Sopore after the encounter ended. The clashes continued for some time.
Meanwhile, thousands of people from Sopore, Zainageer and other adjoining areas assembled at the slain militants’ native villages to participate in the funeral prayers.
In Brath village of Sopore, people chanting pro-freedom, pro Pakistan and anti India slogans participated in the funeral prayers of Owais.
Thousands of people also attended funeral prayers of Tahir at Saidpora village.
Owais, who was son of a government teacher and final year student, had joined militant ranks on September 21 this year after killing of his militant friend Minhaj.
He is survived by three brothers and one sister.
Tahir had joined militant ranks on November 10, 2018 and has left behind parents, two brothers and three sisters.