Majid Kapra

2 LeT militants killed in encounter with security forces near Srinagar

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Srinagar: A top Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander, was among two militants, killed in an encounter with government forces at Ranbirgarh Panzinara area on the city outskirts here Saturday.

An army-man was also injured during initial exchange of fire between the two sides who was later shifted to hospital for treatment and is stable.

Encounter raged after joint team of police, CRPF and Army’s 10RR cordoned off Ranbirgarh area at Panzinara following inputs about the presence of militants there.

“As the joint team of government forces zeroed in on the suspected spot, hiding militants fired indiscriminately upon them triggering off an encounter,” police said.

The police said one of the two slain militants was identified as Ishfaq Rashid, a resident of Sozeith Narbal in Srinagar.

Rashid was one of the top LeT commanders active in Kashmir Valley since 2018. He was wanted in many cases, the police said.

The second militant has been identified as Aijaj Ahmad Bhat, “an important LeT cadre from Pulwama district of south Kashmir”.

Security forces have recovered an AK-47 rifle and a pistol from the site of the encounter.

Three local militants were also killed by security forces in Zadibal area of Srinagar, the second in just in the city on June 21 last month.

Confirming the killing of two LeT militants, Brigadier Naresh Mishra, Commander 10 Sector, Rashtriya Rifles, while briefing media said they received inputs about the presence of militants in the area following which a cordon and search operation was launched which ended up in encounter.

Mishra said two militants were killed in the encounter, however no civilian casualty took place as the operation was conducted in “clean manner”.

When asked whether encounter has ended, he replied with smile “encounter never ends, encounters continue.”

Meanwhile, police said the dead bodies of the slain militants shall be sent to Ganderbal for their last rites after conducting medico-legal formalities including collection of their DNA.

Family members of the slain militants can come forward for their identification at PCR Srinagar and participation in last rites at Ganderbal, police said.

In this connection a case under relevant sections of law has been registered in Police Station Parimpora and investigation has been initiated.

People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any, police said.

Pertinently, today’s gunfight was the fourth encounter in Srinagar since May this year.

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