While police said that it was establishing the identity of the slain, the Jash-e-Mohammad militant outfit in a statement issued here to India Today confirmed one of the slain to be the nephew of the outfit’s chief Masood Azhar.
Identified as Mohammad Usman Hyder, the JeM also paid tributes to him as well as the second militant whom it identified as Showkat Ahmad, a local.
A police officer told India Today that two charred bodies of the militants have been recovered from the encounter site and searches in the area are cngoing.
An UBGL-barrel rifle has been recovered from the encounter site, the officer said.
Asked about the recovery of the sniper rifle, he said that so far it has not been recovered but “chances of its recovery cannot be ruled out”.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Swayam Prakash Pani confirmed that two militant bodies have been recovered and said that “this was the module responsible for recent stand-off attacks” in area.
The gunfight ensued Chankitar village of Mandoora area of Tral on Tuesday afternoon, soon after a joint team of army’s 42RR, SOG and 180 BN CRPF launched a cordon and search operation following specific information about the presence of some militants there.
As the joint team of security forces intensified searches, the militants hiding in the area fired upon at forces, triggering off an encounter.
During the course of the gunfight, sources said, the house was razed to rubble after a blast and massive searches were launched. Two charred bodies of the militants were recovered, they said.
During last 10 days, security forces in Kashmir were concerned about sniper attacks in which at least three forces personal were killed and 5 got injured.
As per security sources, 4 sniper shooters with sniper riffles are believed to have managed infiltration in early September and are spread in different parts of south Kashmir with Jaish outfit. Usmaan Haider was heading the group.