SRINAGAR: Army on Thursday said militants killed in Shopian encounter used women as human shield while trying to escape from the cordon.
Addressing a press conference at Balpura, Shopian, Commander 12RR Brigadier Harbir Singh said army received continuous inputs for the last few days that some militants were planning to carry out attacks ahead of the January 26.
“We were closely tracking the militant group for five to six days and on Wednesday around 5 pm we received specific input about the presence of militants in a house at Ooda,” Singh said.
He added that forces immediately cordoned the area and asked civilians to vacate the house adding that some eight to ten women came out from the house wearing veil (burka) along with two militants.
He said that the militants tried to escape under the garb of veil with the group of women. He said it seems that they were using women as human shields.
As army challenged the militants, they opened fire, Singh said. “Our party retaliated fire in air to disperse the women and in the meantime, both militants ran away towards a cowshed ensuing intense gunfight which continued for an hour.”
Brigadier said that forces challenged them and tried best to ensure that no civilian is injured but unfortunately in such circumstances forces failed to do so. Pertinently two womand were injured and one teenager was killed during the gunfight.
He said, “The encounter ended with killing of both militants. One of the militants has been identified as Firdous Lone resident of Ganawpora who became active in September 2016 and another was a local who joined militancy in September last year.”
He said there was a possibility that gunmen were about to carry a Fidayeen attack. (PTK)