New Delhi: Intensifying their drive against terrorists in the Kashmir Valley, security forces killed two terrorists in a pre-dawn encounter in Panzgam village of Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. 

According to officials, the slain terrorists belonged to Hizbul Mujahedeen. One of the dead terrorists has been identified as Showkat Ahmad Dar, a resident of Panzgam village. He was one of the key man of Hizbul Mujahedeen (HM) in the valley and was active for the last four years. The identity and group affiliation of the other slain militant is being ascertained.

An encounter had broken out between terrorists and troops of 130 Battalion CRPF, 55 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and Special Operations Group (SOG) at 2.10 AM. 

“Two militants have been killed, and their bodies have been recovered. Although firing exchanges have now stopped, the operation is still on,” said a senior army official.

Sources said forces had to blast the house in which terrorists were hiding and later had to call earth moving machines to remove debris. Forces also had to face protest by the locals. 

Operation Panzgom in Pulwama is finally over and a total of three terrorists have been eliminated. Weapons and warlike stores have been recovered from the encounter site.

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The latest gun battle comes days after six militants and a civilian were killed in two encounters in Shopian and Pulwama districts in the state on Thursday. Two soldiers were also killed in the operations.