2 Militants Killed In North Kashmir Encounter

KO File Photo

Srinagar- Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants who had recently infiltrated into Kashmir were killed in an encounter with government forces in Bandipora district of North Kashmir on Friday, police said.

Government forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in Brar in the Aragam area of Bandipora following inputs about the presence of militants there, a police official said.

He said the search operation turned into an encounter after the hiding militants fired upon government forces personnel, who retaliated.

In the ensuing exchange of fire, two militants were killed, he said.

The official said the identity of the slain militants was being ascertained.

Earlier in the day, Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Kashmir Vijay Kumar said the two militants trapped in Brar were Pakistani and belonged to the LeT.

“They had infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir recently. They had managed to escape during an encounter in the Salinder forest area on Wednesday, he said.

The militants were tracked down and trapped in Brar in Bandipora on Friday, the IGP said in a tweet.

However, in a statement issued late Friday night, police claimed that the two Pakistani militants Faisal alias Sikander alias Mohsin and Ukasha were behind the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit government employee in his office in Budgam a day ago.

The duo came under the scanner of the security forces during tracking of a local LeT militant, named Lateef Rather alias Osama, who was involved in militancy incidents in Srinagar and Budgam in the last two months, the police spokesman said.

A week ago, the movement of Rather was confirmed in the Salindar area of Bandipora where he had gone to receive a fresh group of LeT militants who had infiltrated into the union territory, the spokesman said.

He said that the presence/movement of these militants was confirmed and shared with the Bandipora police. Accordingly, an operation was launched on May 11 resulting in the elimination of a local militant, identified as Gulzar Ahmed Ganaie of district Baramulla.

However, the two Pakistani militants managed to escape from the spot. A police team kept following their footprints and their presence was confirmed technically in the Chadoora area of Budgam where the Kashmiri Pandit government employee was killed on Thursday.

Thereafter, the spokesman said, their footprints were again confirmed in Brar and accordingly the operation was launched on Friday, resulting in their killing.

A hunt was underway for Rather alias Osama, the spokesman said. (PTI)

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