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12 militants killed in J&K

At least 12 militants, including a commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, were killed in fighting with the army and police in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Saturday.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2010 17:37 IST

At least 12 militants, including a commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, were killed in fighting with the army and police in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said on Saturday.

Eight militants were killed in a fierce gun battle that began Wednesday in Kupwara district, a military spokesperson said. Four LeT militants were killed Saturday in Jammu region.

Brigadier Gurmeet Singh of the army's 15 Corps in Srinagar said that the gunfight erupted when a group of heavily-armed terrorists from Pakistan tried to sneak into India's Keran sector along the Line of Control (LoC) Wednesday.

"So far eight terrorists have been killed in this operation," he said.

In another incident, a top LeT commander, Rahimullah alias Saifullah, one of the most wanted men in the Jammu region, and his associate Nissar were killed by security forces Saturday. The killings took place in Malu Nullah of Kishtwar district, about 230 km north of Jammu.

Senior Superintendent of Police Haseeb Mughal said: "It's a big success for the security forces and a big blow to Lashkar in the district."

According to police, Saifullah was active in recruiting youth for the LeT in the twin mountainous districts of Doda and Kishtwar.

In another gunfight, Indian soldiers killed two militants in Dharmsal area in Rajouri district. "The encounter is continuing," Brigadier Gurdip Singh of 16 Corps said.

Inspector General of Police (Jammu Zone) Ashok Gupta said the security forces have "intensified their offensive against militants. These operations were a result of coordination among security forces," Gupta said.