SRINAGAR: In a big blow to Pakistan-backed terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), the security forces on Thursday killed one of its oldest active members in the Kashmir Valley in an encounter in Sopore.
According to reports, the security forces, in two separate encounters – one in Sopore in north Kashmir and the other in Kakriyal belt of Jammu – killed at least five hardcore terrorists after a fierce gunbattle.
The slain JeM terrorist, who was killed in the Sopore encounter in north Kashmir along with another terrorist, was identified as 'Ali'. He was the oldest and one of the most active JeM terrorists in the area.
Ali was killed in the fierce gunbattle in Sopore - the apple town of the Kashmir Valley, which began following specific inputs about their presence from the intelligence agencies.
A heavy exchange of fire erupted between the security forces and the terrorists after they were surrounded from all sides after the J&K Police cordoned off a house in the Chinkipora area.
The terrorists opened indiscriminate fire on the security forces after that the were trapped from all sides and there was no escape route for them.
In the ensuing gunfight, the security personnel killed Ali alias Athar and Zia-ur-Rehman.
The two slain terrorists were members of the JeM and Pakistani nationals, police said.
Ali, who had infiltrated into the Kashmir Valley in 2014, was one of the oldest members of the Jaish-e-Mohammed and was involved in the killing of civilians, attacks on security forces and detonating Improvised Explosive Devices in north Kashmir.
Ali was also the mastermind of the IED explosion in January this year in which four policemen were killed, the officials said.
At least thirty-seven terrorists of the Jaish-e-Mohammed have been killed by the security forces this year. Mufti Waqas, the terror group's chief operation commander, and Mehmood, its north Kashmir commander were among the top JeM terrorists killed by the security forces.
During today's gunfight, the civilians were evacuated from the encounter site to safer areas before engaging the terrorists.
A large cache of arms and ammunition and some incriminating document were also recovered from the slain terrorists from the encounter site.
Police also recovered fake Aadhaar cards from the slain JeM terrorists which might have been used by the duo to conceal their identity.