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5 LeT militants, soldier killed in Pulwama encounter

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Srinagar: Five Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, including a district commander, and an Army soldier were killed in an encounter between the militants and the security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Friday, police said.

During the preceding night, police along with the troops of Army’s 44RR and 182/183 Bn CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation at Hanjin village in the Rajpora area of Pulwama following information about the presence of the militants there, police spokesman said in a statement.

He said the operation turned into an encounter when the militants opened fire on the security personnel after turning down the offer to surrender.

Due to darkness, the operation was suspended for the night, even as the cordon remained intact.

Today in the morning, repeated announcements were again made to hiding militants to surrender, but they fired on joint search party and the fire was retaliated, the spokesman said.

In the initial exchange of fire two Army soldiers received gunshot injuries and were evacuated to hospital, however one among the injured succumbed.

During the ensuing encounter, five militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter.

They slain militants have been identified as Nishaz Hussain Lone alias Khitab (district commander LeT), son of Manzoor Ahmed Lone, resident of Nageenpora Tral; Danish Manzoor Shiekh, son of Manzoor Ahmad, resident of Sathergund Kakapora; Amir Wagay, son of Abdul Gani Wagay, resident of Hanjan Payeen; Mehran Manzoor, resident of Jamalata Srinagar, and a foreign militant identified as Abu Rehan alias Tawheed, resident of Pakistan. All the killed militants were linked with proscribed outfit LeT, the police spokesman said.

He said as per police records, all of them were part of groups involved in many militancy cases.

Arms, ammunition and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter, spokesman said, adding one SLR rifle (no. 16047232) which belonged to JKP (IRP 11 Bn), and was snatched by the militants in the year 2016 from guard of TV tower at Lower Munda, was also recovered from the encounter site.

All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other cases, the spokesman said.

He said police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated.

“People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared off of all the explosive materials, if any,” the spokesman added.

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said one of the slain militants, Nishaz Lone alias Khitab, was the district commander of the LeT outfit. He said the operation was a “big success” for the forces.

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