A Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist was killed while five other militants were believed to have escaped during an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, officials said. A 22-year-old man was also killed when security forces allegedly fired upon stone-pelting protesters in the native village of the slain militant in Kulgam district. The body of the militant, identified as Farhan Ahmad Wani, was handed over to his parents for burial in Khudwani village on the border of Kulgam and Shopian where villagers were already agitating over the death of a person killed in a road accident involving a para-military vehicle. Wani's death agitated the crowd further and it started pelting stones at a nearby Army camp, officials said. They said that the Army started firing in the air initially but had to aim at the crowd when jawans claimed to have been fired upon from the other side, the officials said. Two persons received bullet injuries with one of them succumbing to his wounds in the hospital, they said. The deceased has been identified as 22-year-old Khalid Dar.
The other injured man named Yasir, 30, was said to be in a stable condition in the hospital. A case has been registered in the police station in Kulgam and an investigation initiated, a police spokesperson said. Reportedly some unidentified militants camouflaged in the mob and fired shots towards the Army camp, the police official said. Giving details of the encounter, officials said that there was an intelligence input that militants from Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashker-e-Taiba had gathered in Pehlipora village in Larnoo, Kokernag. One militant was killed while five others were believed to have escaped, the officials said. The police spokesperson also confirmed that a "Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist" had been killed in the encounter in Kokerenag. Earlier, the police and the Army had claimed to have killed two militants in the encounter. Director General of Police S P Vaid and the Srinagar- based Chinar Corps of the Army had tweeted that two militants were killed. The police spokesperson said that the police along with the Army and the CRPF cordoned the area and launched a search operation in Pehlipora village after getting information about the presence of militants there. "During the searches, terrorists hiding in the area fired upon the joint search team. The fire was retaliated," he said. "One terrorist was killed in the encounter, who was identified as Farhan Ahmad Wani, a resident of Redwani- Khudwani in Kulgam district," he said. The spokesperson said one INSAS rifle, two magazines and 42 rounds were recovered from the encounter site. Wani was a "hardcore stone pelter" and an FIR was registered against him under different sections of the Jammu and Kashmir State Ranbir Penal Code. He was also involved in many anti-national and unlawful activities, the spokesperson said.
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