Four LeT militants killed in Kashmir’s Pulwama

Four LeT militants killed in Kashmir’s Pulwama

“As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired at the forces, triggering a fierce gunfight in which four ultras were neutralised,” a police official said, adding that one of the slain militants is said to be a top commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba. (DH File Photo)

Four militants affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed while three soldiers were injured in an encounter between security forces and ultras in the Lassipora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Monday morning.
 
Reports said the encounter began during the intervening night of Sunday and Monday when the Army’s 44-Rashtriya Rifles, paramilitary CRPF and special operation group (SOG) of J&K Police launched a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in Lassipora, Pulwama, 26 kilometres from here, over a tip-off. 
 
“As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired at the forces, triggering a fierce gunfight in which four ultras were neutralised,” a police official said, adding the slain militants are believed to be affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit.
 
Three soldiers were also injured in the encounter. They were shifted to the Army’s 92-Base Hospital in Srinagar. A huge cache of arms and ammunition, including two AK rifles, 1 SLR and a pistol have been recovered from the site, police said.  In the wake of the gunfight, authorities snapped internet services in Pulwama district.

Since the February 14 suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in southern Pulwama district, 34 militants, including 20 from the Jaish, have been killed in 15 encounters across the valley. 

Since the beginning of this year, 63 militants and 57 security forces personnel – 43 CRPF personnel including those killed in the Pulwama attack, eight army men and six police personnel – have been killed. 12 civilians have also lost their lives in various militancy-related incidents.

In 2018, over 250 militants were killed in Kashmir which was the highest in a decade while 217 ultras were killed in 2017. Last year as many as 191 local youths reportedly joined various militant outfits in Kashmir which was 65 more than 2017. The new recruits mostly hailed from the restive south Kashmir region.

However, the Army maintains that the recruitment of local youth into militancy has seen a decline in Kashmir during recent months.