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2 soldiers killed; Hizb commander, 2 other militants gunned down

Srinagar, August 13 : Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Yasin Yatoo, alias Mehmood Ghaznavi, was among three militants killed in a gunfight in south Kashmir’s Shopian district that ended on Sunday. Two soldiers were also killed and three others were injured in the gunfight that erupted Saturday evening. Police said three militants, including Ghaznavi, were killed in a fierce gunfight at Awneera village, some 70 km from Srinagar, in a joint operation that was launched at around 5 pm Saturday after a tip off about militant presence.
“During the search operation, militants hiding in the area fired upon the joint search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter. Three Hizbul militants, including Hizbul commander Ghaznavi, were killed in the encounter,” a police officer said.
The other slain militants were identified as Irfan-ul-Haq, resident of Maldara Zainapora, and Umar Majeed Mir, resident of Kulgam. Ghaznavi (41) was the operational chief of the outfit in Kashmir.
Two soldiers were also killed in the gunfight late Saturday.The two slain soldiers killed in the Shopian encounter last evening were identified as Sepoy Ilayaraja P of Kandani Sivagangai, Tamil Nadu, and Sepoy Gawai Sumedh Waman of Akola, Maharashtra.

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