14-yr-old among five militants shot dead in J&K

Five militants, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed in two separate encounters in South Kashmir overnight, taking the number of militants killed in the region during the past 72 hours to 12.

The boy, Faisal Gulzar Ganai, had gone missing just two days ago, and had joined the militants. Two of the five slain militants were responsible for the killing of a Territorial Army (TA) soldier in Bijbehara on Friday, police said.

Late on Saturday afternoon, a joint team of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Army, and paramilitary forces began cordon-and-search operations at Reban village in South Kashmir’s Shopian following inputs about the presence of militants.

As the forces zeroed in on the target area, the trapped militants opened fire, triggering a gunfight. Police said the forces gave sufficient time to the militants to surrender, especially the 14-year-old boy, whose family they called to the site of the encounter.

“They (militants) were given an opportunity to surrender. However, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated, leading to an encounter. In the initial retaliatory firing, one terrorist was killed, but the operation was suspended to give the trapped terrorists another chance to surrender,” police said in an official statement.

“The joint teams exercised maximum restraint and facilitated the presence of family members of terrorist Faisal Gulzar to encounter site so as to persuade him to surrender. However,…

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