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LeT militant killed, 2 soldiers injured in night-long Shopian encounter

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3 JeM associates arrested in Pulwama

Srinagar: A Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in Shopian district of south Kashmir on Friday, police said.

“Based on a specific input generated by police regarding the presence of terrorists in Turkwangam area of Shopian, a cordon and search operation was launched by police along with the troops of 44RR and 178Bn CRPF,” a police spokesman said.

As the search team proceeded towards the suspected spot, “the hiding terrorist fired indiscriminately upon them which was retaliated effectively leading to an encounter,” he said.

In the ensuing encounter, “one terrorist was killed and his body was retrieved from the site of the encounter,” the spokesman said while identifying the slain militant as Muneeb Ahmad Sheikh, son of Shah Mohammad Sheikh, a resident of Tak Mohalla Shopian. Sheikh was affiliated with the LeT.

“According to police records, the killed terrorist was…part of groups involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on police/security forces and civilian atrocities,” the spokesman said.

Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition, including a Chinese pistol, a magazine and five rounds, were recovered from the site of the encounter.

In this regard, a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and investigation has been initiated.

Meanwhile, providing details about the operation, a defence spokesman said that based on inputs received from JKP regarding the likely presence of an unidentified terrorist in the general area of village Turk Wangom, Shopian, the Indian Army along with JKP launched a joint cordon and search operation in the area at about 10:00 pm on 31 Mar 22.

“The Security Forces established an initial cordon around the houses in the village where the terrorist was suspected to have been hiding. At around 10:30 pm, the terrorist opened fire on the cordon parties from one of the houses. The Security Forces reacted immediately by returning fire and tightening the cordon around the house where the terrorist was hiding. While the cordon was being tightened, the terrorist lobbed a grenade on the Security Forces causing injuries to two soldiers of the Indian Army, who were subsequently evacuated to 92 Base Hospital, Srinagar,” the spokesman said.

He said that the exchange of fire continued throughout the night and the terrorist was subsequently neutralized.

Meanwhile, three militant associates belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) were arrested from Pulwama district, officials said.

A police spokesman identified the arrested men as Owais Altaf, son of Altaf Hussain Ganai, resident of Jandwal;  Aqib Manzoor, son of Manzoor Ahmad Mir, resident of Gudoora, and Waseem Ahmad Pandit, son of Ghulam Mohammad Pandit, resident of Karimabad Pulwama.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the arrested trio was involved in providing logistics and transportation to terrorists in the district,” the spokesman said.

Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition, including an AK rifle, three magazines, 69 AK rounds and a grenade were recovered on their disclosure, he said.

A case has been registered and further investigation is in progress, he said.

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