2 LeT ultras killed, third surrenders in Kashmir

2 LeT ultras killed, third surrenders in Kashmir

The encounter was still going on, the official said, adding that a third militant was believed to be trapped in a house. PTI file photo

Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, including its commander, and a civilian were killed in an encounter and ensuing clashes in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Sunday while another ultra was caught alive from the site of the gunfight.

Sources said the gunfight broke out after army’s 1-Rashtriya Rifles and special operations group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police launched a cordon and search operation (CASO) in the area following “specific inputs about the presence of militants” in Chidder village of Qaimoh tehsil in Kulgam, 70 km from here.

“As soon as the security forces approached the suspected spot, the militants hiding in a residential house opened fire which forces retaliated, triggering a gunfight,” they said.

State police chief Shesh Pal Vaid said two militants were killed in the encounter while third was caught alive. “Two terrorists killed are reportedly Shakur Dar Divisional Commander LeT & one FT (foreign terrorist). Efforts to establish their identity. Great job boys. (sic),” he tweeted.

“Third terrorist surrenders with arms/ammunition to Police/SF (security forces,” Vaid added.

Slain Shakoor Dar was an A++ category militant while the ultra who laid down his weapon was identified as Shakir Ahmad. He had reportedly joined the LeT few months ago.

Reports said that massive clashes broke out between the security forces and protesters near the site of the gunfight. They said that youth took to streets and clashed with the forces deployed in the area to disrupt the anti-militant operation.

The forces responded by firing live ammunition, tear gas and pellets, resulting in injuries to over a dozen people. One of the injured identified as Yawar Dar succumbed to his injuries on way to a hospital, reports said.

Meanwhile, a civilian who was critically injured near an encounter site in security forces firing at Srigufwara area of Anantnag on Friday succumbed at SKIMS hospital here on Sunday. Separatists have called for a shutdown in the Valley on Tuesday against the civilian killings.

Since the Center called off Ramazan ceasefire last week, there has been a spurt in encounters between security forces and militants in Kashmir. On June 20, in the first encounter after the ceasefire ended, three militants were killed while two paramilitary officers were injured in Tral area of Pulwama district.

Four militants, including the head of the terror outfit Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK), were killed in an encounter with security forces on Friday in the Khiram area of Anantnag district.