Two LeT militants killed in Budgam encounter

Two LeT militants killed in Budgam encounter
Two Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Saturday evening.

Police sources said that on a specific tip off that militants were hiding in an orchard in Hayatpora area of Chadoora, 20 kms from here, a joint team of Army’s 53-Rashtriya Rifles and special operations group (SOG) of J&K police laid a siege around the area on Tuesday evening.

“As the security forces zeroed in, the hiding militants opened fire on the security forces, triggering a brief encounter in which two militants were killed,” they said.

Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia while confirming the death of two militants, said two AK series rifles and one pistol was recovered from the encounter site.

Sources identified the slain militants as Younis Ganai, a local of Chadoora and Abu Ismail, a Pakistani militant. “They were associated with Lashkar-e-Toiba. Younis had recently joined militant ranks and is son of a hardline Hurriyat leader Muhammad Maqbool Ganai,” they said.

Reports said youth pelted stones and rocks at a security forces party which was rushing towards the encounter site at Nagam village, situated a couple of kilometers from the encounter site. Last month three civilians were killed and 17 others were injured in Chadoora after security forces had to open fire on protesters during an encounter.

However, a police officer said, in today’s encounter the security forces were fully prepared and didn’t give time to stone pelting mobs to assemble and rush towards the encounter site. “It was a meticulously planned operation to ensure that there is no collateral damage,” he said.

Stone pelting protests at the encounter sites has emerged as a major problem for security forces in Kashmir in the recent months forcing Army Chief Bipin Rawat to issue a warning in February that the civilian protesters obstructing encounters, would be treated as "over ground workers of terrorists" and dealt with "harshly."

Five civilian protesters have been killed since General Rawat’s warning at different encounter sites in Kashmir.

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