Top Pak militant of LeT outfit eliminated in Surankote

Arms, ammunition and other items recovered from the slain militant in Surankote on Tuesday. —Excelsior/Rahi Kapoor
Arms, ammunition and other items recovered from the slain militant in Surankote on Tuesday. —Excelsior/Rahi Kapoor

*Another injured ultra on the run

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 14: Army and Police today achieved a major success against Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit when they gunned down a top Pakistani militant of the outfit at Behramgala in Surankote tehsil of Poonch district while his at least one associate was seriously injured and was reportedly hiding in the forests.
“Number of the militants could be between two to three,” sources told the Excelsior.
Area of Behramgala in Surankote tehsil of Poonch district falls on back side of Chamrer forests where five Army jawans were martyred on October 11 in an encounter with the militants. Later, four more soldiers had lost their lives at Bhatta Durrian forests of Mendhar in gun battle with same group of ultras. The militants had remained untraced.
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Sources didn’t rule out the possibility of same group of militants being involved in today’s encounter. However, it is matter of investigations whether it is new group or the old one.
Slain militant has been identified as Abu Zarara, a dreaded Pakistani cadre of the LeT outfit. One or two more militants, who were with him, were also reported to be Pakistanis.
A search is underway to track down other militants, who were his accomplice, in the area, sources said, adding one militant has been hit by bullets and is reportedly injured.
The Army and police launched an operation after receiving specific intelligence inputs about the presence of armed militants in Behramgala area in the early hours of Tuesday.
A militant attempted to escape while firing at the security personnel, sources said, adding that the troops retaliated, resulting in the encounter in which one of them was killed.
One AK-47 rifle, four magazines, one grenade, pouches and some Indian currency were recovered from the slain militant.
Sources said that is a major success and boost to counter-terrorist operations, as a foreign terrorist, who was specially trained and brainwashed to operate in Rajouri-Poonch area with a possible aim of orchestrating a strike, was eliminated.
“This is the eighth terrorist to be eliminated this year. Recently, Haji Arif, a dreaded terrorist guide, was also eliminated on the LoC in the Rajouri sector,” they said.
The joint efforts of the Army and police continue to show positive results in Rajouri-Poonch region due to the unwavering support of locals, officials said.
In this case, the Pakistani terrorist was first detected in August, they said, adding that he was probably a part of the neighbouring nation’s efforts to revive terrorism in South of Pir Panjal region.
While the militant and his accomplice had been on the run, taking shelter in deep jungles for the past few months, their need for food, clothing and communication (mobile) forced them to contact civilians, the officials added.
The Indian Army, in joint efforts with police, monitored this mobile communication on near real-time basis, while the locals provided crucial information on the movement of the suspects, they said.
This enabled security forces to corner the militants, force them to get away to higher reaches of Pir Panjal ranges despite the onset of winters, the officials said.
As the terrorists got isolated and moved away from civilian areas, the troops launched a clinical operation on receiving specific inputs from locals in Behramgala area, they said.
The militants attempted to get away by opening fire on security forces, but he was killed when security forces retaliated, the officials said, noting that his accomplice was on the run.