Srinagar, Apr 21: Three militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) were killed during a gun battle at Lolab in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district today while a top LeT commander and his associates slipped out of cordon in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Army’s 28 Rashtirya Rifles (RR) and Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police cordoned off the forest area near Gujjarpati village in Putshahi area of Lolab in Kupwara district last night after specific information about the presence of 3-4 militants in the area.
Security forces fired several probing shots and militants immediately responded and opened a volley of gun fire at the troops leading to a fierce gun battle.
Three militants were killed in the gun battle. However, their identity is yet to be ascertained. They are believed to be Pakistanis. Three AK 47 rifles, three UBGLs, 387 AK 47 rounds, 10 AK 47 magazines, three pouches, three bags, three water proof Trousers and 40 biscuit packets were recovered from the encounter site.
Reports said that one of the militants of the group was killed on April 6 and others had managed to escape and one of these militants was injured in that operation. Security forces were tracking these militants since then and today they were killed.
A defence spokesman said here that in a major blow to the militant outfits, the security forces today eliminated three militants in Lolab, Kupwara.
“On receiving specific information about the presence of some terrorists in Putsai Village, in Lolab, Kupwara, Army and police launched a joint operation. As the Security Forces closed in towards the suspect area, they drew a heavy volume of indiscriminate fire from the cornered terrorists”, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said that conscious of the presence of innocent civilians who were being used as human shields by the militants, the security forces gave a very calibrated response and in the ensuing firefight killed three heavily armed militants without causing any collateral damage.
“A large quantity of arms and ammunition has been recovered from the terrorists which includes three AK 47 rifles and three UBGLs besides other war like stores”, the spokesman said.
“In yet another operation launched in Zudur, Pulwama security forces recovered a cache of war like stores including ammunition and grenades”, the spokesman added.
Police said that this morning on specific information Police Kupwara along with 28 RR cordoned Gujjar Pathi Pathushahi in the jurisdiction of Police Station Sogam.
“The militants hiding in the area fired upon the security forces. The fire was retaliated and an encounter ensued. Three unidentified militants were killed in the encounter. 3 AK 47 Rifles, 3 UBGLs, 387 AK 47 rounds, 10 AK 47 magzines, 3 Pouches, 3 gags, 3 trousers (water proof), and 40 biscuit packets were recovered from the encounter site”, police spokesman said.
The spokesman said: “A case FIR number 21/16 under Section 307 RPC, 7/27 IA Act has been registered. After completion of legal formalites, the bodies were handed over to Local Auqaf of Village Pothushahi for burial.”
In the meantime, a group of militants including LeT divisional commander, Abu Dujana, this afternoon managed to flee from the security forces cordon in Pulwama district of South Kashmir.
A police officer said that acting on a tip off, a joint team of Army’s 55 RR, SOG and CRPF launched cordon-and-search operation at Bulbul Bagh area of Malwar village of Zadur in South Kashmir.
“Soon after the joint team of forces reached near the suspected spot the militants hiding in the area opened fire upon them and managed to break the forces cordon,” the officer said.
As the security forces intensified the combing operation in Zadur and its adjacent areas to trace out the fleeing militants, the locals in large numbers came out and clashed with the police and paramilitary forces to help the fleeing militants.
The police and CRPF who were deployed in the area chased the youth and fired tear smoke shells to disperse them. However, they hurled stones on them leading to clashes.
Security forces recovered 4 UBGL grenades, 3 AK magazines, 90 AK rounds and one pouch.