Reyaz Rashid

Three LeT militants killed in Sopore encounter

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“More than 100 terrorists killed this year,” IGP Kashmir

People look at the house that got destroyed in an encounter in a Sopore locality. Three militants of LeT were killed during the operation Photo-Bilal Dar/Kashmir Images

Baramulla: Three Lashkar-e-Taiba militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Baramulla district of north Kashmir on Tuesday, taking the number of militant killed in the Valley in the past 24 hours to five, police said.

A joint team of police, Army’s 52RR and 179 and 177 Bn of paramilitary CRPF launched a cordon and search operation at Pethseer in Sopore area late on Monday night, following information about the presence of militants there, a police official said.

“During the search operation as the presence of terrorists got ascertained, they were given opportunity to surrender, however, instead they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” police spokesman said in a statement here.

He said due to darkness the operation was suspended, while the cordon was kept intact.

“In the wee hours, repeated announcements were again made to the hiding terrorists to surrender, but the terrorists again fired on joint search party and the fire was retaliated,” the statement said as adding that in the ensuing encounter “three terrorists were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter.”

Police identified the slain militants as Faisal Fayaz, son of Fayaz Ahmad Thokar, resident of Kapren Shopian; Ghulam Mustafa Sheikh, son of Abdul Ahad Sheikh, resident of Tekipura Kupwara, and Rameez Ahmad Ghanie, son of Abdul Majeed Ghanie, resident of Zipor Dharamati, Shopian. Police said they were affiliated with proscribed outfit LeT (TRF).

As per police records, “the killed terrorists were part of groups involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities,” police spokesman said.

He said incriminating materials, arms and ammunition including one AK-47 rifle and two pistols were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other cases.

In this connection, police has registered a case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated, the spokesman said.

Pertinently, the chief of TRF, Abbas Sheikh, and his deputy Saqib Manzoor were killed in a brief shootout in Aoochi Bagh area of the city on Monday. This takes the number of TRF militants killed by security forces in the past 24 hours to five.

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police Kashmir zone Vijay Kumar said the total number of militants killed this year has crossed 100.

“Today, by the collective efforts of @JmuKmrPolice, @ChinarcorpsIA, @crpfindia and people of #Kashmir have led to #neutralisation of more than 100 #terrorists in the year of 2021 so far in Kashmir division,” Kumar said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, authorities suspended Internet in the area while train services between Budgam to Baramulla and vice-versa were also suspended as a precautionary measure during today’s encounter.

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