Srinagar: Security forces shot dead five local militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba in an 20-hour long encounter in Jammu and Kashmir ’s Kulgam district on Friday.
Police said the slain were involved in a number of attacks on minorities including an attack on a Kashmiri Pandit in April last year.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Rayees Bhat termed the operation as a ‘big success’ for the forces.
“It is a big success because these terrorists have been involved in a number of attacks on minorities. They were involved in an attack which happened in April last year in Shopian in which one Kashmiri Pandit Sonu Bhat was attacked at Chotigam.
Besides this they were behind the attack on a minority picket in Shopian. Early this year they were behind the attack on non-local labourers in Gagran Shopian,” Bhat told reporters in south Kashmir.
“The neutralization of terrorists has obviously dealt a serious blow to the terror infrastructure that is operating here,” he said.
Giving details, DIG Bhat said on the receipt of specific input regarding the movement of terrorists and based on the synergized efforts, a joint operation was launched on Thursday by units of Kulgam police, Army’s 34 Rashtriya Rifles, Army’s elite 9 Para unit and 18 battalion CRPF.
“A contact was established with the terrorists of Lashkar who were hiding in some residential houses of the village. In the ensuing encounter, five terrorists of prescribed terror outfit LeT were neutralized,” he said.
The five were identified by police as Sameer Ahmad Sheikh, Danish Hameed Sheikh, Ubaid Padar, Hanzala Shah – all residents of Shopian and Yasir Bhat of Kulgam.
“The recovery in the operation included 4 AK series Rifles, two pistols, four grenades and other arms and ammunition,” he said.
Locals said at least two houses and a cowshed caught fire in the exchange of fire.
This was the second gun battle since Wednesday in Kashmir.
On Wednesday, two militants including top launching commander Bashir Ahmed Malik were killed in a gun battle in the Uri sector of Baramulla district .