After Tral gunfight, a militant walked free
Encounter video shows him coming out of rubble unhurt in Soimoh village
A militant, who was accompanying Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat and another associate, survived the fierce night-long gunfight last week and emerged unharmed from the rubble of a damaged house, according to eyewitnesses and a video that recorded the aftermath of the firefight.
The militant appeared unharmed from the damaged house at Soimoh village in Tral sub-district, where Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat and teenaged militant Faizan Bhat were killed in the gunfight on Saturday.
Eyewitnesses and locals said a militant emerged alive from the rubble, which had been cordoned off for nearly 16 hours.
“It was the same house where Sabzar was trapped. When the gunfight ended, people rushed to the house. They found a militant when they removed the debris,” a local said.
A dramatic video shot by an eyewitness captured the moment when the militant emerged out of the rubble of the damaged house and was welcomed by a jubilant slogan-shouting crowd. The video appears to confirm the witness accounts.
The video shows a shocked young man in a camouflage T-shirt emerging from the rubble as he is whisked away by sympathisers.
Another resident said two militants had survived the gunfight and were found alive in the rubble. At least one militant had later appeared at the funeral of Sabzar and had identified himself as the survivor of the gunfight.
It is rare for militants to survive prolonged gun battles. The gunfights are usually followed by detailed mopping up and clearance operations.
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