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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Two LeT militants killed in south Kashmir’s Awantipora

Six militants have been killed in Kashmir since the Centre scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2019 19:40 IST
Ashiq Hussain
Ashiq Hussain
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Security forces killed the two militants in a gunfight n Awantipora area of Pulwama.
Security forces killed the two militants in a gunfight n Awantipora area of Pulwama. (PTI File Photo)
         

Two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists were killed and a civilian injured in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday, police said.

They said that security forces had launched a search operation late Monday night near Kawni area of Awantipora after being tipped off about the presence of militants.

“During the search operation, the hiding terrorist fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter. In the ensuing encounter, one terrorist was killed and the body was retrieved from the site of encounter,” a police spokesman said.

In the evening, Kashmir police tweeted that two militants have been killed in the encounter and arms and ammunition have been recovered from the slain men.

A police official of Awantipora said that the encounter took place in an orchard where one of the militants was killed in wee hours and another in the evening.

The two slain militants have been identified as Ufaid Lone and Mohammad Abbas, both locals and members of Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Superintendent of police, Tahir Saleem said that there were two militants in the area. “While Lone was killed in the orchard, another fled away and entered a house which was immediately cordoned,” Saleem said.

Abbas was killed later in the day while a civilian Sabzar Ahmad Bhat was also hit near the site of the encounter.

“The civilian was lying there for some 30 minutes and we retrieved him with much difficulty and took him to hospital,” said another police officer. He has been shifted to SMHS hospital in Srinagar.

The police spokesman said that Lone had a history of “terror crime” records since 2018. “Several terror crime cases were registered against him including two grenade attack on security forces and the police, atrocities against civilians, threatening, intimidation and beating of locals at Padagampora besides enforcing shutdown of business establishments and forcible suspension of transport facilities in the area,” the spokesman said.

Security forces have been involved in an anti-insurgency operation in the forests and mountains of Ganderbal in central Kashmir since September 28. At least two militants have been killed on two separate occasions since then. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had earlier asked security agencies to intensify anti-militancy operations after reports of increase in infiltration attempts.

Superintendent of police, Ganderbal, Khalil Poswal said that the ‘combing searches’ continue in the area even today as the forces have used the services of paratroopers wherever the terrain was tough.

“The combing searches are continuing even though two militants have been killed who appear to be infiltrators. We suspect two more militants in the area. At the places where the terrain is tough, the paratroopers are also air dropped,” he said.

On Saturday, 14 people including two women and a traffic cop were injured in a grenade attack in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Suspected militants had lobbed a grenade near Anantnag deputy commissioner’s office in the morning which exploded on the road.

Since the Centre revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 and put the region under a security lockdown, six militants have been killed in Kashmir including the two on Tuesday.

In comparison, 30 militants were killed in various encounters with security forces in the months of June and July during which 14 security forces also lost their lives. Four militants and an army man were also killed in the first four days of August.

Although the restrictions have been eased in Kashmir but the mobile and internet services in the valley are still blocked while spontaneous shutdowns by people has continued for the past than two months.