In first encounter in 65 days, two LeT militants killed in south Kashmir

Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an anti-militancy operation in Awantipora area on Wednesday, the first such operation since August 5 in the militancy’s hotbed south Kashmir.

A Srinagar-based police spokesman said the hiding militants were encircled during a search operation of in Kawni and Brawbhandina areas on Tuesday night. “In the gunfight, which ended Wednesday evening, two local militants were killed,” Superintendent of Police, Awantipora Tahir Khan said.

Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the encounter site. “All these materials were taken into case records for further investigation,” said the police.

Police identified the slain militants as Ufaid Farooq Lone, alias Abu Muslim, and Abbad Ahmad Bhat, both residents of Awantipora. “They were wanted for their complicity in terror crimes, including attack on security establishments,” said the police.

They said Lone had a history of terror crimes since 2018.

Police said the militants were behind intimidation and beating up of locals at Padagampora, besides enforcing a shutdown. “Lone also motivated the locals from the areas of Brawbhandina to join the terror fold,” they added.

The encounter led to protests in the area. A civilian was injured in the clashes, locals said.

Wednesday’s encounter was the first gunfight in south Kashmir in 65 days, post the revocation of J&K’s special status on August 5. The anti-militancy operations had come to a grinding halt due the communication blockade and lockdown in Kashmir valley.

Earlier, on Saturday, suspected militants lobbed a hand grenade in Anantnag town and 14 civilians were wounded.


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