A Jaish-e-Mohammad militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in Verinag area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Saturday.
Sources said the gunfight broke out after a joint team of army’s 19 Rashtriya Rifles and Jammu and Kashmir police launched a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in Nowgam village of Anantnag, 70 kms from here.
One militant was killed in the initial round of fire while two more militants, who were believed to be trapped in the area managed to escape from the area, they said and added the operation was called off after several hours as no contact was established with the militants.
The slain militant was identified as Mohammad Iqbal, a local, affiliated with the Jaish. However, there was no official confirmation.
The latest encounter came a day after four Jaish militants, including two cop-turned-ultras, were killed in a fierce gunfight with security forces in neighbouring Pulwama district on Friday.
107 militants of various groups and 59 force personnel have been killed in militancy violence in the Valley this year. According to official figures, 101 militants were killed from January 1 till May 31, which is higher than the corresponding period of 2018 when 71 militants were killed.
During the first five months of this year, May witnessed highest 28 killings of militants followed by 22 in February, 21 in March, 17 in January and 12 in April.
“On an average, 20 militants have been killed in each month so far,” a police official said and added 25 among them were foreigners and 76 local militants.
The deceased militants were affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Kashmir and Al-Badr.
At least 59 force personnel were also killed in the militancy violence in the Valley in from January to May. Of 59 killings of forces men, highest 44 belonged to paramilitary CRPF, nine Army men and six policemen.
However, despite the killing of over 100 militants, around 275 militants are still active in the valley. J&K Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh recently said about 275 militants were active in the Valley and of them 100 to 115 were locals and remaining foreign militants.