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Militants attack BJP activist, get trapped in cordon

A fierce encounter broke out at Balhama area near Khonmoh on Srinagar outskirts after militants first attacked the guards of a Bhartiya Janata Party activist and then got trapped in the cordon set up by the forces. According to unconfirmed reports, two militants have been killed in the ensuing encounter.
A police official said that militants fired at the personal security officers (PSOs) of the BJP leader Dr Muhammad Anwar Khan when he was on a visit to a local private school at Khonmoh. “The incident happened outside the school where PSOs were waiting for Khan,” the official said adding the PSOs repulsed the attack while exhibiting extreme caution to avoid any collateral damage, helping militants to flee the spot.
“One PSO Bilal Ahmad sustained minor injuries,” the official said.
Later, the fleeing militants were trapped in a cordon laid by the joint teams of police, 50 RR and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
“The militants were zeroed in and the encounter began,” inspector general of police, Kashmir range, S P Pani said.
However, a police source said that the three militants, including a foreigner got trapped in a residential house.
CRPF spokesman in Srinagar Rajesh Yadav said that a CRPF man Pradeep Kumar of 110 battalion got a bullet injury in his shoulder. “He has been shifted to 92 base hospital of army, where his condition is stated as stable,” he said.
Meanwhile, clashes erupted in Pulwama district where shopkeepers closed their shutters after news spread that the two militants caught in the encounter were from the area.
Witnesses said that youth took to streets in Murran Chowk of Pulwama town and Main Bus Stand at Tral after reports suggested that the two militants – residents of Tral and Awantipora areas – were surrounded by the forces. The protesters, they said, pelted the forces with stones. The latter responded by firing tear gas. Amid the chaos, shopkeepers lowered their shutters. Authorities also suspended internet service in police district Awantipora.

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