Government forces during a search operation in Kashmir
Government forces during a search operation in Kashmir (Photo Credit: Reshi Irshad)

PULWAMA — A top commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba militant outfit was among four militants killed in two separate encounters in Pulwama and Kulgam districts on Saturday while as one militant was capture alive.

Officials said that two militants were killed in Kulgam on Saturday morning while as two militants were killed in an encounter in Pulwama last evening.

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An official from Kulgam said that while acting on specific inputs about the presence of militants at Chinigam village of Frisal Tehsil in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, a joint team of forces including Army’s 1 RR and Kulgam Police launched search operation on late night on Friday.

“As the joint team of forces approached towards suspected spot, the hiding militants fired upon the forces which was retaliated, triggering an encounter,” he said. “During the exchange of fire, one local and a foreign militant were killed.”

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A police spokesman said that the slain militants were identified as Tariq Ahmed Mir of Zangalpora Devsar, Kulgam and a foreigner Sameer Bhai alias Usman, a resident of Punjab Pakistan, who was a A-category militant. “Both the slain militants were affiliated with Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit,” he said.

Defence spokesman in Srinagar Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that a US made M-4 carbine gun and a pistol were recovered from the slain militants.

In another encounter, an official from Pulwama said that on Saturday afternoon, a cordon and search operation was launched in Dadoora Kangan area of Pulwama district by joint team of forces including 55 RR after receiving specific inputs about the presence of militants in the area.

“As the forces approached towards the suspected spot, militants fired upon them, which was retaliated, triggering an encounter,” he said. “During the brief exchange of fire, two militants were killed.”

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Jammu and Kashmir Police said that one of the two slain militants was identified as Lashkar-e-Taiba’s top commander Zahid Nazir Bhat alias Zahid Tiger. “A big success for police and security forces,” police claimed.

Zahid Tiger was the cousin brother of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sameer Tiger, who was killed on April 30 in an encounter at Drabgam area of Pulwama district. Zahid joined militancy days after Sameer’s killing.

Police said that arms and ammunition including two AK-47 rifles were recovered from the slain militants.

The other slain militant was identified as Adnan, who is believed to be a foreigner.

A police official said that one militant was captured alive from the encounter site at Pulwama, who was identified as Firdous Ahmed Tak, a resident of Doda district of Jammu.

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