SRINAGAR: Three militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed in an encounter with security forces in Sopore area of north Kashmir after the battleground shifted there from south Kashmir on Saturday.
With the killing of the three militants, 10 militants including Lashkar’s Kashmir chief and most wanted militant Abu Dujana were killed in encounters with security forces in Valley this week.
A police officer said acting on specific information about the presence of militants, police, CRPF and army men launched a joint search operation in Jamia Mohalla, Amargarh in Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district last evening.
He said after plugging off all possible escape routes, the militants were asked to surrender. “However, they turned down the offer and fired on the search party early this morning.”
“The fire was returned by the troops and in the four-hour long gunfight, three LeT militants were killed,” the official said adding policemen was also injured in the gunfight and has been hospitalised.
The slain militants were identified as Javed Ahmad Dar, Abid Hamid Mir and Danish Ahmad Dar, all locals.
Three AK rifles and two magazines were recovered from the encounter site, the police official said.
One of the slain militants Abid Hamid had joined militancy in June this year.
“He was a second-year commerce student. He had passed 12th from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas (JNV), Uri with 67 per cent marks,” a police officer said.
Hundreds of people attended the funeral prayers of the slain LeT militants at their respective native places amidst pro-freedom, pro-Pakistan and anti-India sloganeering. After the burial of the militants, clashed erupted with youth pelting stones on security personnel, who retaliated by firing tear smoke canisters.
With the killing of three LeT militants, the death toll of militants killed in encounters with security forces in Valley this week has risen to 10.
Today’s encounter was the first encounter in north Kashmir this week. Of the five encounters between militants and security forces this week, four have taken place in volatile south Kashmir.
On July 30, two local Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in an encounter with security personnel at Tahab area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
On August 1, LeT Kashmir chief Abu Dujana and his local associate Arif Dar were killed in an encounter with security forces at Hakripora village of Pulwama district. Two civilians were also killed in security forces firing on protesters during clashes near the encounter site.
On August 3, two local Hizb militants were killed in a gunfight with troops at Gopalpora area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district.
On August 4, a recently recruited Hizb militant and a civilian were killed in an encounter at Kanelwan, Bijbehara area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
According to official sources, over 120 militants have been killed by security forces in Kashmir in the first seven months this year.