Srinagar, Dec 9. Gunfight between holed up militants and security forces near south Kashmir’s Bijbehara broke out once again early on Friday, even as police on Thursday claimed three Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were killed in the firing exchange that entered day three.
A police official said: “Firing exchanges again erupted in Arwani village between the security forces and the militants after the combing operation was re-started this morning (Friday).”
The cordon around the encounter site was being further tightened, he said.
So far, dead bodies were not recovered from the site as protesters from neighbouring areas rushed to Hassanpoora village of Bijbehara town after news spread about the death of three local militants.
A protesting youth was also killed and another critically injured in clashes with the security forces on Thursday some distance away from the gunfight site.
All mobile phone operations were suspended in Anantnag and Kulgam districts to prevent spread of rumours. The ban on cell phone operations continued on Friday in these two districts.
LeT commander Abu Dujana, one of the most wanted militants in the state, was earlier rumoured to be among the gunmen holed up in the house that was targeted by the security forces.
Locals said he escaped from the hideout in Hassanpoora village which lies close to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s ancestral Bijbehara town.
But security officials neither confirmed nor denied if he was among the militants who were trapped on Wednesday night.