Top LeT commander Ishfaq Rashid Khan, close aide Aijaz Ahmad gunned down by security forces in J&K encounter

A top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander and his close associate were killed by the security forces in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ranbirgarh on Saturday (July 24, 2020).

Top LeT commander Ishfaq Rashid Khan, close aide Aijaz Ahmad gunned down by security forces in J&K encounter
Image Credit: J&K Police

SRINAGAR: A top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander and his close associate were killed by the security forces in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ranbirgarh on Saturday (July 24, 2020).

The slain terrorists had been identified as LeT commander Ishfaq Rashid Khan and Aijaz Ahmad Bhat. They were active in the Kashmir Valley for quite some time and involved in several terror-related incidents. 

J&K Police said, "One of the two terrorists eliminated today was Ishfaq Rashid, resident of village Sozeith, Srinagar. He was one of the op LeT commanders active since 2018 and wanted in many cases of terror violence.''

"Another terrorist killed in the encounter was Aijaj Bhat was an important LeT cadre from Pulwama district,'' it added. 

Confirming the development, IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar had earlier said, "One more terrorist has been killed in an ongoing encounter, thus taking the toll to two in the Ranbirgarh gunbattle.”

The identities of two slain terrorists were later ascertained by the security forces and it was found that they were linked to LeT.

A Joint team of security forces including the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu Kashmir Police, the Army and CRPF had launched a search operation after receiving specific inputs about the presence of terrorists in the area.

As the search party cordoned off the suspected spot in the wee hours of Saturday, hiding terrorists unleashed bullets upon them, which was retaliated by the force. The firing from both sides ensued a gunfight. 

The two LeT terrorists were neutralised by the security forces. A massive search and cordon operation was also launched in the area.

With this, at least 143 terrorists have been neutralised by forces in Kashmir.