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Two LeT men killed in Srinagar encounter: Police

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Srinagar: “Two Srinagar-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists were killed and two security forces’ personnel injured in an encounter here in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday,” police said.

“Acting on specific information generated by police about the presence of terrorists in Alamdar Colony in the Danmar area of Srinagar, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by police and the CRPF in the said area,” police spokesman said in a statement here.

He said during the search operation “as the presence of terrorists got ascertained, they were given repeated opportunities to surrender but they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which retaliated, leading to an encounter in the early hours.

“In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists of proscribed outfit LeT were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter. They have been identified as Irfan Ahmad Sofi, son of Nazir Ahmad Sofi; and Bilal Ahmad Bhat, son of Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, both residents of Natipora, Srinagar and were active since Dec-2020,” the spokesman said.

The officials said two security force personnel — one from the police and another from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) – suffered injuries during the encounter and were taken to the Army’s 92 Base Hospital for treatment.

The spokesman said “Sofi and Bhat belonged to LeT offshoot The Resistance Front (TRF) and had joined militant ranks in December last year”.

Recently, TRF shared on social media that Sofi and Bhat had left it and joined the Islamic State of Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK), police spokesman said.

He said according to police records, they were part of groups involved in several cases, including attacks on police and security forces, and civilian atrocities.

“Both the killed terrorists executed a series of attacks on policemen, security forces and civilians, which include the killing of a personal security officer of a PDP leader at Natipora on December 14 last year,” the police spokesman said.

“They were also involved in the March 25 attack on road opening party of the CRPF’s 73 Battalion in Lawaypora, in which two personnel were killed according to police records,” spokesman said.

“On June 17, they attacked and killed an on-leave police official Constable Javid Ahmad near his residence at Saidpora and on June 22, they killed Inspector Parvez Ahmad at Menganwari in Nowgam while he was on his way to offer prayers at a local mosque,” spokesman said while citing the police records.

“They were also involved in the killing of a civilian, Umer Nazir Bhat, at his shop at the Main Chowk area in Habba Kadal on June 23 according to the records,” police spokesman said.

“It is pertinent to mention that they were also involved in a series of grenade attacks as well as petrol bomb attacks on security forces in Srinagar city,” the spokesman said.

On May 07, “they carried out a grenade attack on a joint party of the police and the CRPF at the Nawabazar area of Srinagar in which five CRPF jawans and a civilian were injured,” he said.

“On 26/06/2021, they carried out another grenade attack on a joint party of the police and the CRPF at Barbarshah in which one civilian got killed and three civilians got critically injured. They also carried out a grenade attack on PP Urdu Bazar on 05/03/2021 and a petrol bomb attack on bunker of the SSB (Sashastra Seema Bal) at Mehjoor Nagar Band on 26/04/2021,” he said.

The spokesman said “both the terrorists have been instrumental in motivating and recruiting the youth to join terror folds in Srinagar and its adjoining areas.”

Incriminating material, arms and ammunition including an AK-47 rifle, a pistol and four grenades were recovered from the site of the encounter, the spokesman said.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar congratulated the security forces for “the big success that led to the elimination of two most-wanted terrorists.”

Kumar said in this year, “78 terrorists have been neutralised in the Kashmir valley so far.”

“Half of the terrorists were affiliated to the LeT, followed by Hizbul Mujahideen, Al-Badr, Jaish e Mohammad and Ansar Ghazwatul Hind,” he said.

Spokesman said the 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 said.

Huge cache of explosives, ammo recovered in Pulwama

Security forces have recovered a huge cache of explosives, including 51-mm mortar shells, and ammunition in the Tral area of Pulwama district, police said on Friday.

“Based on credible inputs, a joint team of police, Army and the CRPF launched a search operation in the Nawdal-Tral area of Awantipora. During the search operation, a huge cache of explosive material and ammunition was recovered,” a police spokesperson said.

He said the recoveries included seven 51-mm mortar shells, 260 Pika rounds and other incriminating materials “that were kept hidden underground by terrorists”.

The official said a case under relevant sections of the law has been registered at the Tral police station and further investigation is in progress.



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