6 Militants, Air Force Commando Killed In Hajin Gunfight

Bandipora—A total of six militants were killed by security forces in an encounter in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Saturday, Police and Defense sources said.

One of the deceased has been identified as Owaid, Abdul Rehman Makki’s son and 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi’s nephew.

An Indian Air Force Garud commando was killed while an Army personnel got injured during the encounter, which ensued after security forces carried out a search operation to locate militants in Hajin area’s Chandergeer village.

Arms and ammunition were also recovered from the site.

A police official said that the forces had received specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in the area, following which the search operation was initiated, according to PTI.

Born on December 30, 1960, Lakhvi, also referred to by those he has trained as “uncle”, has long served as the Lashkar’s overall military chief and is a member of its powerful general council.

He is alleged to have directed operations targeting the Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir, and routed dozens of Lashkar operatives to Chechnya, Bosnia and Iraq.

Lakhvi is also among the three globally prosecuted terrorists named by India(Hafiz Saeed and Dawood Ibrahim being the other two) and the European Union in their joint statement to combat terrorism.

Security forces cordoned off and launched a search operation in Chandergeer village in Hajin area of the district after receiving specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in the area, a police official said.

He said the search operation resulted in an encounter when the militants hiding in a house fired on the search party of the security forces, who retaliated. The gunfight was continuing when last reports came in, the official said.

Reports said that after receiving inputs about the presence of militants, government forces comprising 13 Rashtriya Rifles of Indian Army assisted, India Air Force Commandos by CRPF and SOG of Jammu Kashmir Police cordoned off the area.

Sources said that during search operation, a contact was established with militants when they fired upon the soldiers.

In the ensuing encounter, at least six militants believed to be affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed while an Indian Air Force Commando and a soldier sustained injuries. The IAF Commando later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.

Shootout Highlights

7:05 pm: Encounter ends. A total of six Lashkar-e-Taiba militants confirmed killed, including 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi’s nephew Owaid. Arms and ammunition also recovered from the slain militants.

 6:50 pm: Authorities suspend data services, including 2G, 3G and 4G services in Bandipora.

6:45 pm: The defense spokesman confirms 1 Indian Air Force Garud commando killed.

6:34 pm: A defense spokesman confirms 5 militants killed

6:26 pm: J&K DGP, Shesh Paul Vaid, writes a Twitter congratulating forces

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