Top LeT militant comdr Osman among 3 killed in Sopore

Security forces during encounter at Reban, Sopore on Sunday. — Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
Security forces during encounter at Reban, Sopore on Sunday. — Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

6 OGWs, militants held in N Kashmir

Excelsior Correspondent

SRINAGAR, July 12: A Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant commander was among three militants killed in an encounter in Reban area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district today.
Inspector General of Police Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, told Excelsior that killed militant was identified as LeT commander Abu Rafia alias Osman who was involved in recent attack on CRPF in Sopore in which one civilian and a CRPF jawan were killed.

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He said that a joint team of police, Army’s 22 RR and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search-operation in Reban area of Sopore after inputs about presence of militants in the area.
As the joint team encircled the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon them leading to a gun battle. The house in which they were hiding was razed to ground by using IED by security forces.
Three militants were killed in the encounter and one of the bodies was recovered from the debris of the house.
The IGP said that two of the killed militants were foreigners and have been identified as Abu Rafia alias Usman and Saifullah, both residents of Pakistan. Abu Rafia alias Usman was active in the Valley since year 2016.
He said that they were involved in many militancy related cases including the recent attack on CRPF in Sopore in which one CRPF jawan and a civilian were killed. However, the identification of third militant is being ascertained.
The IGP said that arms and ammunition including 3 AK-47 rifles and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter.
Kumar described the killing of Osman a big success for the security forces in North Kashmir.
In Kashmir, so far 128 militants have been killed this year.
And security forces today arrested two militants who hurled grenade on them near Sail Charsoo on National Highway in Pulwama district.
“The grenades, however, did not explode. The Bomb Disposal Squad was called in and both the grenades were picked up safely by the Bomb Disposal Squad after following security drill”, police said.
A case (FIR number 90/2020,U/S 307 IPC, 16,18,20 ULAP Act &  Section 3 of Explosive Substance Act)  was registered at Police Station Awantipora and investigations and an operation was launched.
“During the course of investigation it came to fore that two persons were boarding on the white colour Apache bike who actually had lobbed grenades and were driving very fast”, police said.
It added that the area was cordoned off immediately and during the search of the village Sail, the suspected white colour Apache bike was traced at about 100 meters from the place of incident.
Two militants were arrested from village Sail Awantipora who had lobbed the grenades.
They have been identified as Umer resident of Aloora Shopian   and Zahid Yusuf Pala of  Aloora Shopian.
Police said that both of them were arrested within four hours of the incident.
And in the meantime, security forces today arrested four Over Ground Workers of militants from Bandipora district of North Kashmir.
Police along with security forces have busted a militant module in Chandargeer and Sadhunara area in the vicinity of Hajin town and arrested four OGWs.
Police said that acting on a specific input Bandipora Police,13 RR,45 battalion of CRPF arrested an OGW from Chandergeer area during a search operation. He has been identified as Shafat Ahmad Dar and one live grenade has been recovered from his possession.
In a separate incident three more OGWs identified as Mudasir Ahmad Khawaja, Abdul Qayoom Margo and Ishfaq Ahmad Dar were arrested in a joint searches launched by Bandipora police, 13RR and 45 batallion of CRPF in Sadhunara area. Two grenades, one AK magazine, 25 rounds of AK- 47 and a UBGL were recovered from the possession of the trio. Police said that they were involved in providing logistic support and shelter to LeT militants.