SRINAGAR: A top militant of Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba, who was involved in 2013 deadly attack on army convoy and carrying an award of Rs 10 lakhs, was killed in an encounter with security forces in South Kashmir Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.
Police sources said acting on specific intelligence input, army, J&K Police’s Special Operation Group (SOG) and paramilitary CRPF men launched a combing operation in Naman village, Kakapora in South Kashmir Pulwama district at around 3.30 pm.
They said militants hiding in paddy fields fired on the search party of security forces. “The fire was returned by the troops and in the ensuing two-hour long gunfight, a top Lashkar-e-Toiba militant was killed”.
Sources said two managed to escape from the area during the course of gunfight.
They identified the deceased Lashkar militant as Irshad Ahmad Ganai of Awantipora area of Pulwama district.
Terming Ganai’s killing as a major achievement for security forces, sources said he was one of the wanted militants and a manhunt was going on for him since 2013.
“He was an A-category militant and carrying a reward of Rs 10 lakhs,” they said.
Police sources further said Ganai, who was active since 2011, was also involved in deadly attack on army convoy at Hyderpora area on Srinagar airport road on June 24, 2013.
Eight army men were killed and 19 others injured in the militant attack on army convoy at Hyderpora. It was one of the deadly militant attacks in the Valley.
Sources said after the 2013 attack on army convoy, security forces had been hunting for him. “He was also involved in many other attacks on police, army and paramilitary forces. He had managed to escape during many encounters but today his luck ran out and was killed”.