Three Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were killed in two separate encounters in Jammu and Kashmir, where a major tragedy was averted with timely detection of a powerful IED in Baramulla district on Monday, police said.
A self-styled district commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) Ashraf Moulvi and his close associate Rouf Ahmad Bhat were killed in a gunbattle with a joint search party of police and Army in Kulgam district's Qaimoh, 70 kms from Srinagar in South Kashmir, this morning, Superintendent of Police, Kulgam, Keshav Ram Chourasia told PTI.
"As per police records the duo were affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen but had recently switched to LeT which was revealed by the documents recovered from them," he said.
Terming the killing of the two militants as a "major success", he said Moulvi had been arrested and jailed under Public Safety Act (PSA) thrice in the past one decade.
"He rejoined militancy last year after his release and was behind several sensational incidents in the recent past, including the killing of a former militant Gulzar Ahmad Dar and attack on Police post at Qaimoh," the SP who supervised the operation said.
He said Bhat (18) had joined militancy only a few months back and was moving around with Moulvi. The duo had escaped an encounter after getting trapped in a cordon and search operation at Rampur village in the district last month.
"We got specific information about their presence in a house and accordingly laid a cordon in the wee hours. After noticing the search parties, the ultras came out and tried to flee while firing on the search parties and were killed in the ensuing gunbattle," Chourasia said.