Militant shot; soldier hurt in border fire

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Local militant Rayees Ahmad Dar of Kakapora village, Pulwama, was killed in an encounter in Pulwama district today while soldier Kala Singh of 8 Sikh Light Infantry was seriously injured in cross-border firing.
An ambush was laid for militants in Begum Bagh. Personnel of 50 RR and the Special Operations Group (SOG) were part of the operation,” a senior police official said. He said the two militants were riding a bike when they were intercepted by security personnel. “The pillion rider got down and opened fire. He was killed after a brief encounter. His accomplice managed to flee,” the official said. An AK-47 rifle and ammunition was found at the encounter site.
Dar had joined the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen recently. In his mid-twenties, he had attended the ITI before being appointed trainer at the institute on a contractual basis, the officer said.
Meanwhile, the police have appealed to young recruits to lay down arms. DIG (South Kashmir range) Niteish Kumar said rehabilitation cells had been formed at the district level to try integrate “these boys with the mainstream”.
Reports said Pakistani troops continued to pound forward posts and villages near the LoC in Rajouri and Poonch districts. After a two-day lull, the Pakistan army today resorted to unprovoked heavy mortar shelling on forward posts and civilian areas in Kalsian, Jhanhar and Bhawani villages in Nowshera sector, using small and automatic arms and 120 mm mortars. Due to the heavy shelling, the movement of civil/police officials has been restricted.
A house each at Makri and Kalisan villages was damaged in the shelling. “Shanti Devi, 80, of Makri village received splinter injuries. Her condition is stable,” said the SDM.

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