Handwara encounter: Top Lashkar terrorist Haider killed in gunfight
A top commander of Lashkar-e Taiba was killed in the operation in Jammu and Kashmir’s Handwara, inspector general of police Vijay Kumar said on Sunday.
The Lashkar operative was identified as Haider from Pakistan by news agency ANI.
The army had said earlier in the day that two terrorists were gunned down in the encounter, which ensued between terrorists and security forces at Changimullah area of Handwara on Saturday.
A colonel and four other security force personnel also died in the Handwara encounter on Saturday after an hours-long gun battle with the terrorists who were holding civilian hostages.
The personnel killed in action are Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, the commanding officer of the army’s 21 Rashtriya Rifles battalion, Major Anuj Sood, Naik Rajesh Kumar and Lance Naik Dinesh Singh and sub-inspector Shakeel Qazi of the Jammu and Kashmir police.
WATCH | Handwara encounter: Army Colonel among 5 martyred, 2 terrorists gunned down
The joint operation by the army and police was launched on Saturday afternoon to rescue the civilians who had been taken hostage by the terrorists inside a house.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the army said the joint operation was launched on the basis of intelligence that terrorists were holding civilian hostages at Changimulla.
“A team comprising five army and J&K Police personnel entered the target area occupied by the terrorists to evacuate the civilians. The team entered the target area and successfully extricated the civilians,” the statement said.
“However, during the process, the team was subjected to heavy volume of fire by the terrorists. In the ensuing firefight, two terrorists were eliminated and the team of five… comprising two army officers, two soldiers and one police sub-inspector attained martyrdom,” it added.