Anantnag: 3 LeT militants killed in ‘chance encounter’

Police say gunfight lasted for ‘barely five minutes’

Khalid Gul
Anantnag, Publish Date: Jul 18 2017 12:19AM | Updated Date: Jul 18 2017 1:37AM
Anantnag: 3 LeT militants killed in ‘chance encounter’Photo: Mir Waseem/GK

Three Lashkar-I-Toiba militants were killed in a brief gunfight with government forces in Anantnag district late on Monday evening, police said.

A police official said army’s 19 Rashtriya Rifles and personnel of Special Operations Group of J&K police had laid an ambush at Sheikh Mohalla-Watergam near Bulbul Nowgam—7 kms from Anantnag town—during which they spotted the militants.    

“The militants were travelling in a vehicle. They were challenged but they opened fire which was retaliated to, triggering a brief gunfight in which three militants were killed. The gunfight lasted for five minutes,” the police official said.

He identified the slain militants as Showkat Lohar of Arwani, Bijbehara, Muzafar Hajam of Danweth, Kokernag while third militant is believed to be Pakistani.

Showkat, a category-A militant, according to police sources, was active since August 16 last year while Mudasir, listed as category-B militant, had joined LeT ranks on January 17 this year.

Unconfirmed reports suggested a youth identified as Naseer Ahmad of Bulbul- Nowgam village was arrested from the spot.

Army’s Srinagar-based spokesman Rajesh Kalia told Greater Kashmir that three militants were killed and “operation is in progress.”

Police sources claimed the slain militants were associates of slain LeT commander Bashir Lashkari alias Okasha who was killed in a gunfight with forces early this month at Brenthi-Batpora in Dialgam, barely few kms from the area where today’s encounter took place.

A senior police official said: “It was a chance encounter. They were all part of Bashir Lashkari’s group and involved in a number of attacks.”

Even J&K’s director general of police SP Vaid took to twitter to confirm the killing of three militants in what he called a “chance encounter.”