2 ultras killed, Army officer hurt in Kupwara

2 ultras killed, Army officer hurt in Kupwara

A top Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander was among two militants who were killed in a fierce gun battle in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Monday. A senior Army officer was also injured in the encounter.

Sources said that Special Operations Group (SOG) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police and Army’s Rashtriya Rifles (RR) 6 Battalion launched a joint search operation in Vilgam, Kupwara, 110 km from here, after receiving specific information about the presence of a group of militants in a house.

“The militants were asked to surrender but they resorted to indiscriminate firing on the troops, triggering an encounter in which two militants were killed,” they added.
Handwara SP Maqsood-uz-Zamaan confirmed to Deccan Herald that two Pakistani militants were killed in the encounter.

“The operation concluded at 2 pm when the second holed up militant Abu Talha was killed. Earlier Abu Huraira, who was LeT’s divisional commander, was also killed in the encounter,” he said. Zamaan said Major Kotwal of RR 6 Battalion sustained minor injuries in the encounter and was rushed to a hospital for treatment.

Reports said the house in which the militants were holed in was completely gutted. Security forces recovered two AK-47 rifles and three magazines, two Chinese pistols, two knives and a mobile phone from the slain militants.

A senior police officer told Deccan Herald that both Hurraira and Talha had come to Kashmir last year.

“Hurraira was overseeing LeT activities in Lolab valley last year and later shifted to Srinagar where he gave the slip to security forces twice in Ahmad Nagar area on the outskirts of the city,” they said.

During one of the gunfights in Ahmadnagar on October 2, 2013, Hurraira had injured at least eight policemen before giving the slip to security forces.

“He shifted to South Kashmir’s Tral area after Srinagar encounters and spent winter months there to set up bases for the LeT. Fifteen days ago he had moved to Kupwara where he was hiding in the forest area. But due to bad weather, he moved into the village where he was killed today (Monday),” he said.

Around 20 militants have been killed by the security forces in the Valley this year, while at least a dozen have been arrested. With melting of snow and opening up of mountain passes, security agencies apprehend there would be more attempts by the ultras to sneak into the Valley to disrupt the elections.

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