Pulwama: Five militants have been killed during a gunbattle with government forces in Chowgam village of Qazigund in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
Sources said that around midnight, Chowgam village was cordoned off by the government forces after getting a tip-off about the presence of militants in the area.
Though the counter-insurgent forces were able to locate a house where militants were staying, they had problems in quick operation because of the presence of civilians in the same house.
After Police evacuated the civilians, encounter started in which five militants were killed including top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Gulzar Padder.
The initial reports about the identity of militants said that HM commander Gulzar Padder, Faizal Rather, Zahid Mir, Zahoor Ahmad from Kulgam, Masroor Bhat from Anantnag were among the deceased.
Reports also said that the house, where militants were trapped, was razed to the ground after forces triggered an IED blast.
Meanwhile, mobile internet service was suspended in south Kashmir districts of Anantnag and Kulgam in view of the gunfight.
An official said the service was suspended in the two districts “as a precautionary measure” to check spread of rumours.