Two Army men killed in ambush by Pak troops on LoC The encounter in Budgam, in which three militants were killed on Wednesday, began around 8 p.m. on Tuesday. The three were trapped in a house during a cordon operation in the Redbugh area. “They were engaged in a gunfight till morning. The house was blasted with improvised explosive devices. All the three bodies were recovered from the debris,” said a police official.One self-loading rifle (SLR) and a pistol were recovered from the encounter site. The police are verifying if the SLR was a snatched service rifle.The slain militants were Aaqib Gul, a resident of Srinagar’s Goripora area, Sajid Ahmad Gilkar of Srinagar’s Malaratta, and Javaid Ahmad Sheikh from Budgam’s Beerwah.Ground realityIt was in 2005 that two militants from Srinagar, Ibrahim Dar and Ishfaq Ahmad Rather, were killed in an encounter on the city outskirts. Since then, Srinagar was declared a militancy-free zone with no local armed militant figuring in terror activity. In the past one year, the police figures suggest that 11 youths from Srinagar have turned to militancy.A resident of the old city, Gilkar, who was a known protester and booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) on several occasions, had joined militancy just 10 days ago.Also Read Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in the city to keep protesters at bay. Major clashes broke out when the militant’s body reached Nowahatta.Locals alleged that security forces used pellet shotguns on the mourners. Scores of protesters were injured.Earlier in the day, several areas witnessed spontaneous shutdown and stone-throwing.Four rounds of funeral prayers were held for Sheikh in Budgam. Protesters were seen marching on the city roads at Hyderpora and performed the funeral of Gul on the roadside. Demonstrators’ attempt to go to Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani’s residence was disallowed by the security forces.Youths were seen unfurling the banners of Hizb commander Burhan Wani and split faction head Zakir Mussa during these funerals.