Reyaz Rashid

3 LeT militants killed in encounter in Baramulla

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Photo-Reyaz Rashid

Baramulla, Jan 23: Three local militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were killed in an encounter with government forces in north Kashmir's Baramulla district Wednesday.

The government forces launched a cordon and search operation in Binner area in the outskirts of the district following information about presence of militants in there, a police official said.

"Following specific inputs about militants’ hiding in a hideout in an orchard area, a joint team of Army’s 4 PARA Commandos, 46 RR, SOG and 53 bn CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation close to the forests in the outskirts at Binner village,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Baramulla, Mir Imtiyaz Hussain said.

He said as the forces approached the suspected spot, the hiding militants opened fire triggering off a gunfight.

“During the exchange of fire that lasted over seven hours, three militants were killed,” he said, adding arms, ammunition and other incriminating material were recovered from the encounter scene.

Police spokesman in a statement identified the slain militants as Suhaib Farooq Akhoon, son of Farooq Ahmad Akhoon of Khanpora Baramulla; Mohsin Mushtaq Bhat, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat of Qazi Hamam Baramulla, and Nasir Ahmad Darzi, son of Mohammad Amin Darzi of Sangrampora Batpora Sopore, presently Jamia Qadeem Baramulla.

“As per the police records all the three slain militants were affiliated with proscribed outfit LeT and were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities,” spokesman said.

The slain militants, he said, were active in Baramulla and Sopore areas.

“They were involved in a gruesome killing of three young boys in Baramulla in April 2018 -- Haseeb Nabi Khan, son of Ghulam Nabi Khan of Kakarhamam; Irfan Ahmad Sheikh, son of Ali Mohammad Sheikh of Syed Karim; Mohammad Asgar Sheikh, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Sheikh of Kakarhamam Baramulla for which case FIR No: 74 of 2018 under section 302 RPC, 7/27 Arms Act is under investigation at Police Station Baramulla,” said the spokesman.

“In the aforementioned case, one militant Ajaz Ahmad Gojri, son of Abdul Rehman Gojri of Jamia Mohalla Baramulla, who was part of the group involved in the killing of above mentioned youths has been arrested earlier,” spokesman said.

The spokesman said that the trio was provided with ample opportunity to surrender. However, they fired on the government forces from their hideout.

“Arms & ammunition including three AK 47 rifles were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in case records for further investigation,” he said.

Meanwhile, there was tension in Khanpora area as the news about the killing of local LeT commander reached the area.

Soon after the gunfight started, as usual, the Internet service was suspended across the district. An official said the service was suspended as a “precautionary measure” to maintain law and order.

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