Six LeT militants killed in Kashmir’s Anantnag

Let commander Azad Malik, whom police claim was involved in the assassination of journalist Shujaat Bukhari, was among the six militants killed

An army official said exchange of fire between security forces and militants began in the early hours in Bijbehara area of the district. PTI FIle Photo 

Top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Azad Malik, whom police claim was involved in the assassination of journalist Shujaat Bukhari, was among six militants killed in a gunfight with security forces in Bijbehara area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district on Friday.
Police said the gunfight erupted during the wee hours in Sekipora village of Bijbehara, 50 kilometres from Srinagar, after the Army's 3 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), paramilitary CRPF and J&K police launched a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in the area, following “specific information” about the presence of a group of militants there.
“As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the militants. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight. In the process, six Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were killed, and the bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter,” a police spokesperson said.
“Incriminating material including a huge quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of the encounter. All the terrorists were killed without any collateral damage. It was one of the most successful operations in recent years,” he added.
Two among the slain militants were identified as Azad Malik alias Dada and his associate Basit Mir. Police had accused Malik along with Naveed Jatt, a commander of LeT from Pakistan, of killing Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar’s Press Enclave on June 14 this year.
As a precautionary measure, authorities suspended mobile internet services in Anantnag. The killings triggered violent protests in parts of Anantnag district. Reports said that people took to the streets in Shalgund-Kanelwan village of Dachnipora belt of Bibehara where the gunfight took place earlier today.
The valley has been witnessing a spurt in militant activities for the past few months. On Tuesday, four Hizbul Mujahideen militants and an Army paratrooper were killed in an encounter at Nadigam village of southern Shopian district.
On November 18, two militants associated with Al-Badr outfit were killed in an encounter in Rebban area of Shopian. On the same day, a paramilitary personnel was killed after militants opened fire on a CRPF camp at Railway Colony in Pulwama's Kakapora area.
Over 200 militants have been killed in Kashmir this year while 217 ultras were killed in 2017 which was the highest in the last nine years. However, despite an increase in encounters and militant killings, the Army maintains that recruitment of local youth into militancy has seen a decline in Kashmir during recent months. 
“The recruitment of local youth into militant outfits has been persistent during past couple of years. However, we have seen a drop in it (recruitment) in the past two months,” General-officer-Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt Gen A K Bhatt, recently said.

Also read: Hizbul chief's pic near clock tower goes viral

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Six LeT militants killed in Kashmir’s Anantnag


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