LeT, Jaish militants killed in J&K's Anantnag

LeT, Jaish commanders among four militants killed in J&K's Anantnag

Army soldiers during an encounter in which top three miltant commanders were killed, at Wani in Shopian district of south Kashmir, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Four militants, including two commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), were killed in a brief shootout with security forces south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Sunday.

The encounter began at Dar Mohalla in Watergam, Anantnag, 60 kms from here, after Army's Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and special operations group (SOG) of J&K police launched a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) during the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday following "specific inputs" about the presence of militants in the area, reports said.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, south Kashmir Atul Goyal said as the searches were intensified, hiding militants fired upon the security forces approaching towards the spot which was retaliated, triggering off an encounter in which four militants were killed.

Sources said there was no firing from the militants and they were asleep when the forces launched the assault. However, DIG Goyal said, militants, tried to break the cordon and flee after which forces fired and managed to kill them.

He said that incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, have been recovered from the slain militants’ possession. The slain militants were identified as Muzaffar Ahmad and Umar Ahmad, Gulzar Ahmad and Sajad Ahmad, all residents of neighboring Kulgam district.

A police official said Muzzafar, Umar and Sajad were associated with the LeT while Gulzar was affiliated with the JeM. “Muzzafar and Gulzar were operating as top commanders of the LeT and Jaish in the area respectively,” he said.

As precautionary measures internet services were suspended in Anantnag and Kulgam districts.

The counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir have slowed down after a security clampdown was imposed in the Valley on August 5, when Center revoked Article 370, with mobile phone and internet services barred for months. From August 5 till today, only 24 encounters have been reported across J&K in which 49 militants were killed. From January to July last year over 154 militants were killed by security forces while over 260 ultras were neutralized in 2018.

Last September, a report prepared by the security agencies had revealed that there were a total of 273 militants operating in Kashmir. “Out of the 273 active militants, 158 were based in south Kashmir, 96 in North Kashmir and 19 in central Kashmir. At 166, the local militants outnumber the 107 foreign militants operating in Kashmir (at that time)," the report revealed.

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