SRI NAGAR: Two militants, including a top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander, were killed in a gunfight with security forces in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district.
A police official said a cordon and search operation was launched jointly by the Special Operations Group (SOG) of J&K Police, CRPF and army in Lawdara village on Sunday after receiving inputs about the presence of militants. During the search operation, militants hiding in the village fired at the troops. “The troops returned fire leading to an encounter. The gunfight lasted till the early hours on Monday in which two militants were killed,” an officer said.
The bodies of both the militants and arms and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site. One of the deceased militants has been identified as Lashkar commander Abu Talha of Pakistan. “The identity of another militant is being ascertained.”
“Talha was part of groups involved in planning and executing militant attacks in the area. Several militants cases were registered against him,” the officer said. It was the first encounter in Bandipora since scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation of J&K into two Union Territories by the Centre on August 5.
Bandipora had emerged as a LeT stronghold and many top Pakistani militants of the outfit were killed in gunfights with security forces in the north Kashmir district in last few years.