`All militants in Kupwara encounter were of foreign origin`
Srinagar: All seven militants killed in an encounter with security forces in Kupwara district of Kashmir were of "foreign origin" and belonged to the terror outfit "Lashkar-e-Toiba", police has said.
"Six out of seven militants killed in the Dardpora forest in Lolab have been identified. These militants were of foreign origin and belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT)," a police spokesman quoting DIG North Kashmir J B Singh, said.
Seven militants were killed in the encounter with security forces on February 24 in Lolab area of Kupwara district.
There were allegations that the slain militants were locals, leading to law and order problems in Lolab and surrounding areas.
"On the basis of evidence collected, the militants have been identified as Sufian, Rehman, Qari, Kashif, Dawood and Arqam -- all Pakistani nationals," the DIG said.
The identity of the seventh militant is yet to be ascertained but he also was of foreign origin, he added.
Singh said the investigation of the case was carried out with scientific and technical methods.
"The scientific and technical investigations along with the accounts of eye witnesses, who were victims of the attrocities carried out by these militants during past five to six months, revealed that this group was operating in the area of Hardoona Foests of Vilgam, and Lolab for quite some time," he added.
The officer said investigations also revealed that the same group was responsible for the murder of police head constable Sonauallh in the forests of Hardoona and the attack on army convey on November 16 last year at Drugmulla in Kupwara.
"The bodies and photos of slain militants were shown to the people of area, where they were active and they confirmed their foreign origin," he said.
The police has also collected DNA samples of the slain militants, he said.
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