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Encounter in Shopian: Three militants & two soldiers dead; locals help militants flee
In a growing series of encounters in the Kashmir Valley, another encounter took place in Shopian district of Kashmir Valley on Saturday.

The encounter which began on Saturday evening and ended around Sunday noon left three local Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants and two soldiers dead. The security forces were involved in a search and cordon off operation which had the militants trapped. Finding themselves helpless, the militants opened fire. 

The Valley has been seeing an increasing a number of terrorist activities but equally increasing is the number of encounters with the forces.

Also, a group of militants was reported to have opened fire on the forces but from an area that was outside the cordon. Supporting the militants, locals have been reported to have pelted stones on the forces as soon as the firing started. The police had to resort to firing tear gas shells and pellets to control the mob.

As per reports, a building in which the suspects were thought to be hiding was blown up.

Taking to social media, the Director General of Kashmir SP Vaid wrote on Twitter, "Today morning 3 terrorists eliminated at Zainpora Shopian. Well done boys!"

The two soldiers who have lost their lives have been identified Sepoy Ilayaraja P and Sepoy Gowai Sumedh Waman.

In another encounter in Kashmir's Bandipora, two policemen were left injured when militants opened fire at them.

The forces had launched a search and cordon off operation after receiving intelligence inputs about the presence of militants, but the militants were able to escape when locals pelted stones on the security forces. 

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