Militant outfit Hizbul Mujhadeen Monday claimed that five militants killed in Sumlar Bandipora encounter were not foreigners but locals.

At least five militants were killed in a two day long gun battle in Sumlar area of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district. Army had said that slain militants were non-locals.

Hizb Operational Spokesperson Burhanuddin told news agency CNS that those killed in the gunfight were locals. “It was a group comprising five members who got trapped in Sumlar area and were killed in a long gun fight,” Burhanuddin said.

According to him, those killed in Sumlar gunfight were Hyder Ali from Brazul Kulgam, Muhammad Umar from Shopian, Muhammad Sidiq from Bandipora, Mawiya from Kangan and Usman from Lolab.

Hizbul Mujhadeen Operational Spokesperson quoted outfit Chief Syed Salahuddin as having said “the sacrifices rendered by this group will not go waste. We are indebted to these youth who were in field for Kashmir Cause.”