SRINAGAR – A top foreign militant of Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) was killed in an encounter by security forces in south Kashmir district of Kulgam on Srinagar-Jammu highway.
The operation has ended as another militant had escaped, Inspector General of Police (IGP) K Vijay Kumar told reporters on Friday.
I congratulate security forces for eliminating the LeT militant who was planning a major strike ahead of Independence Day (ID) on the highway, he said.
Giving details about the encounter, he said militants on Thursday afternoon attacked Border Security Force (BSF) Convoy on the highway at Malpora in Kulgam district on the highway. There was no injury in the attack, he said adding security forces deployed on the highway immediately retaliated and the militants entered a nearby building.
He said additional security forces were rushed and building was sealed from all sides. Firing continued between the trapped militants and security forces.
Police rescued 22 civilians, including shopkeepers, women and non locals from the encounter site, he said adding intermittent firing continued during the night.
With the first light this morning, security forces entered the building despite firing from militants, Mr Kumar said adding earlier it was reported that two LeT militants were trapped in the building.
One militant was killed in the encounter by security forces this morning. The slain militant was identified a Usman, a foreigner affiliated with LeT. Later, entire building was searched and no other militant was found. For the first time militant used RPG during the encounter, he said.
IGP said the recovery from militant included one RPF, one AK-47 rifle, four magazines , few grenades and other incriminating material. Security forces averted a major tragedy by eliminating the militant, he said.
He said two security force personnel and as many civilians were injured during the encounter.
In reply to a question he said there was general input that militants could attack security forces on Srinagar-Baramulla and Pantha Chowk –Qazigund highway.
Mr Kumar said security forces have already been put on high alert to foil any militant attempt to cause any disturbance on or before ID celebrations in the Kashmir valley. “I assure people that militants will not be able disturb the ID celebrations in the valley, he said adding people are requested to participate in the functions in large numbers without any fear.
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