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Jammu Kashmir5 LeT ultras killed in 20-hour Kulgam gunfight

5 LeT ultras killed in 20-hour Kulgam gunfight


Srinagar, Nov 18 : The security forces killed five local militants of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) in a 20-hour-long encounter in south 's Kulgam district, the police said on Friday.

Behind several attacks in shopian

– The deceased were involved in the attack on a Pandit, Sonu Bhat, in Shopian last year. They also attacked a minority picket at Heerpora Batgund in Shopian, a cordon party at Wattu Keegam and non-local labourers at Gagran in Shopian this year.

– Sameer Ahmad Sheikh of the People's Anti-Fascist Front had joined the terror ranks in 2021. The others had joined last year or this year. The PAFF is said to be a shadow outfit of the LeT.

The gunfight erupted on Thursday morning after a joint team of the police and the Army's elite 9 Para unit and 34 Rashtriya Rifles launched a counter-insurgency operation on the basis of specific information about the presence of militants in a house at Samno village in the Damsel-Hanjipora area of Kulgam.

Arms, ammo seized

– Four AK series rifles, two pistols, four grenades and other arms and ammunition have been seized, say officials.
– According to local residents, at least two houses and a cowshed caught fire during the exchange of gunfire.

As the joint team approached the spot, hiding militants fired indiscriminately. The team retaliated, leading to an encounter, a police spokesperson said.

Later, the 18th battalion of the CRPF also joined the operation, which was put on hold until Friday morning owing to darkness.

Bodies retrieved

Traced with the help of drone footage, the bodies of the slain terrorists have been retrieved from the encounter site. The area is being sanitised. VK Birdi, IGP, Kashmir zone

“With the first light today, the operation was resumed, which resulted in the elimination of five terrorists of the LeT,” said Deputy Inspector General of Police, South Kashmir, Rayees Mohammad Bhat.

Bhat said the slain militants were involved in various attacks on minorities, including an assault on a Kashmiri Pandit in April last year.

“The neutralisation of the terrorists has dealt a serious blow to the terror infrastructure operating here,” he said.

Bhat said the bodies of the militants were retrieved from the encounter site. The slain terrorists have been identified as Yasir Bilal Bhat, alias Humais, of Wanpoh in Anantnag district and Danish Hameed Thoker, Ubaid Ahmad Padder, Sameer Farooq Sheikh and Hanzal Yaqoob Shah, all residents of Shopian.

Four AK series rifles, two pistols, four grenades and other arms and ammunition were recovered, Bhat said.

Local residents reported that at least two houses and a cowshed caught fire during the exchange of gunfire.

The incident marked the second gun battle in Kashmir since Wednesday when two militants, including top commander Bashir Ahmed Malik, were killed in a confrontation in Uri sector of Baramulla district.

Slain militants Sameer Farooq and Danish Hameed were involved in an attack on Kashmiri Pandit Sonu Bhat of Chotigam, Shopian, while Danish Hameed, along with Hanzal Yaqoob Shah, was involved in a terror attack on labourers at Gagren, Shopian, on July 13, resulting in injuries to three.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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