Militant from ‘IS-inspired group’ killed in Jammu & Kashmir

Srinagar: A militant, linked to an Islamic State-inspired terror outfit, was killed on Friday in a gunfight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district, police said.

The incident sparked off clashes in Sopore town between stone-pelting youths and security forces as the news spread.

Security forces began a cordon and search operation in Amshipora village of Shopian following an information about the presence of militants there, police said.

“The hiding militants fired at the security forces triggering an encounter in which one militant was killed,” a police officer said.

“The slain militant has been identified as Ishfaq Ahmed Sofi alias Abdullah Bhai, belonging to Sopore in Baramulla district,” he said.

While police said that Sofi, who joined the militant ranks in in 2015, was associated with the Harkatul Mujahideen outfit and involved in a number of attacks on the security including some in Srinagar city, the state police chief identified him as a member of the IS-inspired group.

Talking to media, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said Sofi had been once been arrested when he was associated with the Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen but later on, he had joined the Islamic State-inspired group.

He also said that during the gunfight in Amshipora, another militant had managed to escape.

While authorities closed all educational institutions in Sopore as a precautionary measure, clashes broke out in the Model Town area after news about Sofi’s death spread.

Youths engaged security forces in pitched clashes while the latter used tear smoke shells to disperse the mob.

Clashes also broke out between stone-pelting protesters and security forces in the old city areas of Srinagar after the congregational prayers ended at the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta.

The clashes continued for over two hours during which six youths sustained injuries.