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Srinagar, Feb 2: Jammu and Kashmir police today said two Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants, including ''A'' category commander, surrendered after a brief encounter with security forces whereas the Army claimed they were arrested in south Kashmir.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Pulwama Nitish Kumar said a search operation was launched at village Wachi in Pulwama district of South Kashmir. He said when the search party was about to storm the area where militants were hiding, they opened fire. Search party also retaliated and the exchange of fire continued for some time.

Mr Kumar said the militants were asked to surrender if they wanted to save their lives. Later, both the militants, identified as Nika Mir and Showkat, alias Mustafa, laid down their arms.

The SSP said Mir was the most wanted ''A'' category militant who was also involved in November 10, 2006 attack on Moulvi Abdul Rashid Dawoodi at Tahab Pulwama.

He said five people, including four minors, were killed and 35 people, including Moulvi Abdul Rashid Dawoodi, were injured in the incident.

However, a Defence ministry spokesman said 55 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) apprehended 2 HM militants during a search operation carried out on a specific information at Wachi.

He said two AK-56 assault rifles, four magazines and one grenade were recovered from the possession of the militants who were later handed over to the police.

UNI

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