SRINAGAR: In the ongoing anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir, security forces weeded out top two Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists, including a divisional commander, in an encounter on Sunday.
The encounter took place in south Kashmir's Kulgam district. Among those killed are – 22-year-old Dawood Ahmad Sofi (known as Haider), a Pakistani national and a member of Islamic State-Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK) terrorist, and self-styled divisional commander Shakoor Ahmed Dar from LeT. One more terrorist surrendered.
Dar, a resident of Sopat Tengpora of Kulgam, was operating as the LeT divisional commander and several terror-related cases were registered against him in different police stations of south Kashmir. He was involved in a number of other civilian atrocities and attack on security establishments in the area, police said.
Ahead of this year's Amarnath yatra, the security forces released a list of at least 21 most-wanted terrorists. The list includes 11 terrorists from terror outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, seven from Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), two from Jaish-e-Mohammed, one belonging to Ansar Ghazwat ul-Hind and a lone terrorist linked to ISJK, who was killed by security forces on June 22, 2018.
This is the third major encounter along the national highway. Three militants of Jaish were gunned down in Tral on June 20, four of IS-JK, an affiliate of the banned ISIS terror group, including its chief Dawood Sofi, were killed on June 22.
Acting on a tip-off, a combined operations team of Jammu and Kashmir Police, the Army and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), cordoned off a suspect house allegedly inhabitated by the terrorists.
"As the joint patrol approached towards the suspect house, a group of terrorists hiding inside fired indiscriminately on the security forces, to which forces retaliated cautiously leading to an encounter in the area," the police said in a statement, adding that two terrorists hiding inside the house were successfully eliminated by the security forces.
"We followed the standard operating procedure during which two terrorists were killed and one, who had joined militancy recently, surrendered. He has been taken into custody," Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range) Swayam Prakash Pani told PTI.
Meanwhile, the commander of the Srinagar headquartered 15 Corps in Baramulla, Lt General Anil Kumar Bhatt on Sunday said there are over 250 terrorists present in the valley majorly in the Southern part of Kashmir."There are fewer militants in North Kashmir as compared to Southern Kashmir. The atmosphere is also better. There are around 250-275 militants present in the valley," Lt General A.K. Bhatt.
With agency inputs