5 top LeT commanders killed

In a severe blow to Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) terror outfit, security forces eliminated five of its militants, including a top commander, in north Kashmir’s Sopore town on Tuesday.

Sources said that one of the killed militants is operation chief of LeT in Kashmir, Fahdullah. The militants were killed in a joint operation by counter-insurgency Kilo Force of Army and the Special Operations Group (SOG) of police at Sadhpora, Sopore, 55 km from here. 

Superintendent of Police, Sopore, Imtiyaz Hussain told Deccan Herald that the operation was still on. “We have halted the operation for the night but the cordon continues. So far we have eliminated five terrorists and most probably one of them is Fahdullah, the operational chief of LeT in Kashmir,” he said. Hussain said that the security forces faced heavy firing from various houses in the village. “We suspect that two more militants are hiding in the cordoned area. We will flush them out tomorrow morning,” he added.

Sources said the army had to press gunship choppers into service to help ground teams involved in the operation.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir, S M Sahai, who visited the encounter spot, described the elimination of these militants as a major success in the fight against militancy in Kashmir.

“The group had recently moved from Kupwara forests, as LeT was depleted in Sopore. It was a major success for security forces,” he told reporters.

Reports said the situation in the area was tense as the security forces made several attempts to neutralise the terrorists trapped in the village throughout the day. This is the same area where army and police last week killed a divisional commander of LeT and his two associates while Fahdullah gave slip to them in that encounter.

Fahdullah is the most wanted militant commander, who has mostly been operating from Sopore area over the last five years. He infiltrated into Kashmir valley in 2007 and graduated to be LeT chief as successive chiefs were killed over the years. He was injured in 2009 during an encounter in Sopore’s Badam Bagh area.

Fahdullah succeeded Abdullah Uni, the most wanted militant commander of LeT, who had fled from security cordons dozens of times. Uni was killed by police and army during an operation in Sopore town last year.

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