Srinagar, Dec 14: The divisional commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba was killed in a gun battle in North Kashmir’s Sopore area while a local militant was gunned down in South Kashmir today.
Sources said that security forces got information about presence of LeT divisional commander, Abu Bakar, hiding in Bomai village of Sopore. The area was cordoned of by Army, police and CRPF during which the militant opened fire on troops leading to a gun battle in which security forces killed him.
Abu Bakar was active since 2009 in Kupwara and Handwara areas of North Kashmir but for one year he was active in Sopore area but failed to establish base in Sopore town.
Sources said that he was motivating local youth for joining militancy and launching infiltrating militants to Central and South Kashmir.
Commander 5-Sector of Army, Brigadier Vikram Nagpal while giving details about the operation said: “We got information about presence of one of the terrorists of LeT in Zaingair area of Sopore. His name was Abu Bakar who happened to be commander of LeT. He had been active in this area for quite some time. Based on the specific information, a joint operation was launched along with the Army, SOG of Sopore, J&K Police component and a component of CRPF in the Bomai village of Sopore town. During the initial fire fight we tried to get this militant surrendered but he refused to do so and in the ensuing fire fight he got eliminated. From him we have recovered one AK-47 rifle, four magazines, few rounds and two hand grenades. His body has been handed over to the police. He has been active in the area for last four years.”
A senior police officer said that the mobile services were temporarily suspended in the area to stop rumours about the encounter.
The killing of militant sparked protests in the area during which protesters pelted stones on the security forces. Security forces fired teargas to chase away the protesters.
In the meantime, a local Hizb militant from South Kashmir was killed in an encounter with security forces today while two of his associates managed to flee from the spot.
The gun battle between militants and security forces started in an apple orchard at Bewoora Mirhama village of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Security forces received an information that a group of militants will pass through an apple orchard and they laid ambush.
A militant was killed on spot when he along with two associates walked into ambush while two others managed to escape.
The deceased militant was identified 24 year old Basit Ahmed Dar alias Sameer son of Ghulam Rasool Dar, a resident of Mirhama Bijbehara.
Basit, the son of a Bank Manager according to family sources, had gone missing two months ago and had joined militancy. He was studying in Islamic University of Science and Technology Awantipora.
People took to streets and clashed with security forces in Bijbehara, Kanelwan, Bewoora and Sirgufwara areas of the district after the news of death of Basit Rasool spread in the area.
Security forces fired teargas and pellets to quell the protests in which at least four persons from Sirgufwara were injured.