LeT top rung wiped out in Kashmir, says army

LeT top rung wiped out in Kashmir, says army

Claiming that the top leadership of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) in Kashmir has been wiped out with the killing of six militants in northern Bandipora district on Saturday, the army on Sunday said that 190 ultras, including 110 foreigners, have been killed so far this year.

"We have killed about 190 terrorists as on date, in 2017. Out of these, 80 were locals and 110 were foreign terrorists. Of the 110 foreigners, 66 terrorists were killed near the LoC during infiltration bid," said Lt Gen J S Sandhu, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 15 Corps, while addressing a press conference here.

"With the elimination of six of its commanders yesterday (Saturday), the top leadership of the LeT in the Valley has been wiped out. Hajin was an area of concern for us as militants had killed some people in the area," he said.

Six LeT militants, including 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi's nephew Owaid, were killed by security forces in an encounter in Hajin area of Bandipora district on Saturday.

"We look forward to continuing the operations and restoring peace in the Valley very soon," Sandhu said.

Hitting out at locals who join militant ranks, Sandhu said, "It's easy to call yourself mujahideen. But are you a mujahideen or Pakistan's proxies?"

"They (local militants) should have the wisdom to realise that you are not the proxy of Pakistan. We leave it to local terrorists. If they come back, we will accept them with honour," he said. "Kashmir valley needs to be free from violence, terror, guns and drugs. Wish very soon we can see Kashmir free of violence."

IS claims dismissed

Jammu and Kashmir Police chief Shehs Pal Vaid, who was also present at the press meet, refuted claims of the Islamic State that the attack at Zakura, Srinagar, on Friday - in which a police officer and a militant were killed - was the first one by the global terror outfit in the Valley. "No, it is yet to be verified. I don't think IS has any presence here (Kashmir)," Vaid said.

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