Pulwama: Three militants including a Lashkar e Toiba (LeT) commander were killed in a gunfight in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Wednesday.
The slain LeT commander was identified as Aijaz alias Abu Huraira, a Pakistani national. The two other slain militants were identified as Javed Ahmad Rather from Tahab, Pulwama, and Shahnawaz Nazir Ganai from Samboora, Awantipora.
A police official said that acting on a specific information about the presence of militants in New Colony, Hospital Road locality of Pulwama town, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by police, army’s 55RR, and CRPF in the area late last night. “As the forces zeroed in on the house in which the militants had taken shelter, they came under firing. The fire was retaliated triggering an encounter,” he said.
A police official said that due to darkness last night the operation was suspended while the cordon remained intact. “Taking advantage of darkness, the militants tried to escape, however such attempts were foiled,” he said.
A police official said in the wee hours today, the militants again fired on the joint search party, and the fire was retaliated. “The exchange of fire continued for several hours,” he said.
Finally the militants were killed and the house was also damaged in the fire fight. “Incriminating materials arms and ammunition including 2 AK rifles and a pistol were recovered from the site of encounter,” a police official said.
The LeT militant, according to police, was instrumental in recruiting youth into militancy. “He was also involved in planning and executing several militant attacks in the area including attacks on police and security establishments,” the official said.
Meanwhile, curfew like restrictions were imposed in the entire Pulwama town to thwart any attempts of protests.
The internet service in the district remained suspended as a precautionary measure.