Pulwama encounter: Three terrorists, Army jawan killed in gunbattle

Kashmir 3 militants 1 Indian soldier killed

One of the terrorists killed in the Pulwama encounter was the nephew of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar.

IGP Kashmir zone, Muneer Khan said: "We will ask Pakistan to collect the body of Masood Azhar's nephew as JeM has owned it".

The three slain militants killed on Monday night were identified as Waseem Ganaie, a resident of Pulwama, and Pakistani militants Muhammad Bhai, JeM's south Kashmir divisional commander, and Azhar's nephew Talha Rashid.

Lance Naik Vikram Paul Singh was also killed during the gunfight, while a civilian suffered a bullet injury. A soldier of 44 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) was also killed and two others got injured in the operation.

The police statement issued here on Tuesday said, "From the encounter site three weapons which include one AK 47 Draco rifle, one M4 carbine colt rifle and one pistol besides ammunition were recovered".

As the cordon was being tightened, the hiding terrorists fired at the security forces, triggering a fierce encounter in which the three JeM terrorists were killed.

He said, this was first time that a USA made weapon was recovered from the militants in Kashmir. "The militants were holed up in two houses".

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"There was disruption by locals who threw stones (at the security forces)". "It's like any other weapon; it's not hard to carry, and is just 10 cementres longer than the AK47", he said.

The weapon is mostly used by the US Army in its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Major General B.S. Raju, General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Army's "Victor Force" said at the press conference, "We've recovered M4 carbine, a United States made weapon used by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces". He said around 16 to 20 JeM militants were still operating in the Valley.

Raju said this was not the only M4 rifle functional in the region, and that there could be 5-10 such weapons brought in by infiltrating militants.

A photo of a militant flaunting an M4 rifle had gone viral in Kashmiri social media circles last week.

Security forces launched a search operation in Najwan forests of Ganderbal following information about presence of terrorist hideouts in the area, a police official said.

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