3 LeT terrorists killed, Army jawan martyred

SRINAGAR: In the ongoing encounter in Bandipora forests, the security forces gunned down three Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists, even as an Army soldier attained martyrdom on Saturday.

The cordon-and-search operation in the woods of Chaan Daji and Dani Behak area of the restive north Kashmir district has been going on since last one week by a joint team of army’s 31 RR and 27 RR. It was in the same operation that two jawans had received injuries yesterday.

On Saturday, the security forces and terrorists had a contact, following which three terrorists were neutralized, defence sources informed.

“Three terrorists were killed in an operation in Danna in Bandipora district of north Kashmir,” Srinagar-based defence spokesman, Col Rajesh Kalia said.

Giving details, he said, “On Friday in the afternoon, a gunfight ensued after a joint team of forces had a standoff with the terrorists at Danna forests. In the operation which continued till today in the afternoon resulted in the killing of three Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists.

“An army soldier Rifleman Shiv Kumar of 31 RR was also injured today in the morning and was evacuated to 92 base military hospital where he succumbed to injuries,” he said.

Two army soldiers had suffered injuries during the initial phase of gunfight yesterday and have been hospitalized, he added.

“Arms and ammunition have been recovered from the slain terrorists whose exact identity is being ascertained,” he said.

The operation is over, the spokesman said, adding further details were awaited.

A militancy hotbed, Bandipora has remained restive all this week. On Thursday, two Pakistani Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces at Pir Mohalla in Hajin area of district.

On Wednesday, two more terrorists, including Altaf Ahmad Dar, also known as ‘Altaf Kachroo’ alias Moin of the Hizbul Mujahideen, were killed in the Anantnag area.

Meanwhile, the security forces intensified their operations on Saturday, launching cordon and search operations in a number of areas including Beighpora village of Pulwama district—the native place of the Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin.

There were reports of CASO being launched at Sub-District Hospital Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district after a joint team of army’s 42RR, CRPF and SOG of Jammu & Kashmir police received specific inputs about the presence of terrorists in the area.

A late night Operation was also launched in Kareemabad village of Pulwama. Reports said that a joint team of army’s 55 RR and SOG laid a siege at Astan Mohalla area of Kareemabad village late this night.

Soon after the cordon, locals of the area mostly youth took to streets and pelted stones on the forces. The forces used tear smoke shells and fired some aerial shots to disperse the protesting people.

Additional reinforcements of the army, SOG and CRPF 182, 183 bn CRPF rushed to the site. When reports last came in, the clashes amid CASO was going on.

Meanwhile, police arrested a person from Srinagar for harbouring known terrorists involved in a series of terror crimes.

“Srinagar Police arrested a person namely Asif Sultan, son of Mohammed Sultan Saida resident of Firdous Abad, Batamaloo in a case FIR number 173/2018 registered at Police Station Batamaloo,” a spokesman said.

During the initial questioning of the accused, subsequent searches were carried out based on the disclosures made in this case so far which has led to the seizure of incriminating materials from various locations. It also establishes his complicity for harbouring known terrorists involved in a series of terror crimes, he added.

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