Pulwama, July 2: Five Lashker-e-Toiba militants including a district commander and a soldier were killed in a gunfight in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, officials said on Friday. Also, a soldier was injured in the gunfight which ensued late last night in Hanjin Rajpora area of Pulwama, they said.
“Acting on a specific input regarding presence of (militants) in Hanjin Rajpora area of Pulwama, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, army’s 44RR and 182/183 battalions of CRPF in the area (late last night),” a police spokesman said in a statement.
“During the search operation, the civilians were evacuated to safer places and as the presence of militants got ascertained they were given an opportunity to surrender,” he said. However, he said, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated, leading to a gunfight.
“Due to darkness the operation was suspended however the cordon remained intact throughout night,” he said.
In the morning on Friday, he said, repeated announcements were again made to hiding militants to surrender, but they fired on joint search party and the fire was retaliated.
In the initial exchange of fire two Army soldiers received gunshot injuries and were evacuated to hospital. However one among them who was was identified by sources as Havildar Kashiray B, succumbed to the wounds.
“During the ensuing encounter, five militants were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter,” the spokesman said.
They have been identified as Nishaz Hussain Lone alias Khitab (district commander LeT) son of Manzoor Ahmed Lone of Nageenpora Tral, Danish Manzoor Shiekh son of Manzoor Ahmad of Sathergund Kakapora, Amir Wagay son of Abdul Gani Wagay of Hanjan Payeen, Mehran Manzoor of Jamalatoo Srinagar and a foreign militant identified as Abu Rehan alias Tawheed of Pakistan. All the killed militants, he said, were linked with LeT.
He said arms, ammunition and other “incriminating materials” were recovered from the site of encounter including one SLR rifle. “The rifle (bearing no. 16047232) recovered from today’s encounter site belonged to JKP (IRP 11 Bn) snatched by (militants) in the year 2016 from guard of TV tower Lower Munda, regarding which a Case vide FIR No. 135/16 stands registered at PS Duroo Anantnag,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar congratulates Police and forces for the “big success and conducting successful operation in professional manner”, the spokesman said. gns