3 terrorists, 7 civilians, 1 jawan killed in Pulwama encounter

Pulwama (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Dec 15 (ANI): Three terrorists were killed in an encounter that broke out on Saturday in Pulwama's Monghama area of Sirnoo village. Seven civilians and one security personnel too lost their lives in the gun battle. Bodies of the deceased terrorists were handed over to the legal heirs after the completion of medico-legal formalities. One of the killed terrorists has been identified as Zahoor Ahmad Thoker, resident of Sirnoo. Zahoor had joined Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) terror outfit and was a notorious terrorist commander. He was wanted by the police for his complicity in a series of terror crimes including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities. Several terror cases were registered against him in the past too. Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition recovered from the site of the encounter have been taken in case records for an investigation. Earlier on Saturday, security forces had launched a search operation based on credible input about the presence of terrorists. While the operation was underway, a crowd came dangerously close from different parts to the encounter site and got injured. The injured were evacuated to a hospital where seven of them succumbed to their injuries. An army man also sustained injuries, while a jawan lost his life. Others who were admitted to the hospital are stated to be stable. During the operation, which was an open field with hideout made by the terrorists, the holed up terrorists fired indiscriminately leading to an encounter. In an official statement released by the state police, an appeal has been made to the people to stay away from the encounter site as the same is a prohibited zone. "The loss of civilians is deeply grieved. Police once again appeal the citizens to remain away from encounter site as it is a prohibited zone which involves significant danger to life because of the nature of the encounter," reads the statement. The police have registered a case in the matter and further investigation is underway. (ANI)
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