Five Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in a long-drawn gunbattle with security forces in north Kashmir’s Sopore area, on Tuesday.
Killed in a joint operation by the army and police at Sadhpora, some 55-km from Srinagar, these militants “were to replenish and augment militant ranks for the LeT in and around Sopore”, said Imtiyaz Hussain, SP, Sopore.
Tuesday’s bid was the second such attempt in one week. On December 13, three militants of the LeT with similar goals were neutralised in Sopore in two separate encounters. “There are attempts from across the border to revive militancy. Today’s killings have dented LeT’s attack capabilities…We suspect there are two or more militants still trapped. The encounter is on,” said Hussain, who participated in the operation.
In Srinagar, inspector general of police Shiv Murari Sahai described the killing as “major success against militancy in north Kashmir”.
According to the CRPF, militant strength is around 100 in the entire Valley, down from around 25,000 in 1990 when militancy started.
Sources said LeT is joining hands with other militant groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad, despite ideological differences, for attacks in the Valley. htc