2 LeT militants killed in Sopore

Troops at Brath Kalan, Sopore during encounter with militants on Thursday. -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
Troops at Brath Kalan, Sopore during encounter with militants on Thursday. -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Dec 13: Two militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed in an overnight gun battle in North Kashmir’s Sopore area today.
Security forces last evening based on credible inputs about the presence of militants in Brath Kalan area of Sopore, launched an operation against them.
As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the hiding militants. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight.. However, last night, the operation was put on hold but the security forces ensured that the militants don’t flee the area.
The operation was resumed in the morning and in the gun battle, two militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter.

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They have been identified as Owais Ahmad Bhat alias Abu Bakar son of Ghulam Ahmad Bhat, resident of Gund Brath Sopore and Tahir Ahmad Dar alias Abu Abdullah son of Mohammad Ramzan Dar, resident of Saidpora Sopore. Both were affiliated with LeT.
Police said that they were wanted for militant activities including attack on security establishments and civilians. Sources said that Owais was also involved in the recruitment of local youth into militancy.
“Huge quantity of arms and ammunition including rifles were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in the case records for further investigation and probe their complicity in other cases”, police said.
Deputy Inspector General of Police North Kashmir, Atul Kumar Goel, said that based on inputs, security forces launched a search operation in Brath Kalan village of Sopore last evening. “During searches, the security forces were fired upon. Despite that security forces asked militants to surrender and several attempts were made to motivate them for it. When they refused to surrender, the fire was retaliated resulted in the killing of both the militants. Precautions were taken to reduce the collateral damage during the encounter”, he said.
Police requested the citizens not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any”, a police spokesman said.
The militant killings triggered violent protests in Sopore area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
Youth pelted stones on the security forces who were withdrawing from the Brath Gund area soon after the gunfight ended. They fired teargas shells to chase away the protesters.
Meanwhile, shutdown was observed in Sopore area. Shops and other commercial establishments were shut while public transport ramained off the roads.
Number of poeple attended the funeral of the militant.


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