Government forces during a gunfight in south Kashmir
Government forces during a gunfight in south Kashmir

ANANTNAG — Three militants including a foreigner and a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander were killed in an encounter at Khandipora area of Awantipora area of Pulwama district while an unidentified militant was killed in an ongoing encounter at Semthan village of Bijbhehara in Anantnag district of south Kashmir, police said on Tuesday.

Police said that the slain LeT commander identified as Mukhtar Bhat along with a foreign militant was planning a Fidayeen strike on the security forces’ camps.

“One terrorist killed in Bijbehara encounter. Operation going on,” a J&K Police spokesman tweeted as per the news agency KNO. A police official said that the identity and affiliation of the slain were being ascertained.

Earlier, an official had said that a joint team of Police, Army and CRPF after receiving information about the presence of militants launched a search operation in the area. He said that as the joint team of forces intensified searches towards the suspected spot, hiding militants fired upon them, which was retaliated to, triggering an encounter.

Also, police said that another encounter broke out in Khandipora village of Awantipora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday evening.

ADGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar tweeted that three ‘terrorists’ were killed in the Awantipora encounter. “Identification being ascertained. As per our source, one is a foreign terrorist and another is a local terrorist of LeT namely Mukhtiyar Bhat, involved in several terror crimes including the killing of one ASI of CRPF and two RPF personnel. A big success for us.”

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In another tweet, the ADGP said, “LeT Commander Mukhar Bhat among the three terrorists killed. As per the source, he along with a foreigner was going for a Fidayeen attack on the security forces camp. One AK-47 rifle, one AK-56 rifle, and one pistol were recovered. Awantipore Police and Army averted a major terror incident.”

Jammu and Kashmir Police said that Semthan, Bijbhehara encounter was going on.

Official statement of Jammu & Kashmir Police

A police spokesman in a statement said that police along with security forces neutralized four militants in twin anti-terrorist operations in south Kashmir’s Anantnag and Awantipora districts. “Police along with Army (3rd RR) launched a cordon and search operation at Semthan Bijbehara area of Anantnag following input regarding the presence of terrorists in the area,” the spokesman said.

He said that as the search party proceeded towards the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated effectively by the joint party, leading to an encounter.

“In the ensuing encounter, one local terrorist identified as Shakir Ahmad son of Habibullah, resident of Ladermud was killed,” the statement said. “As per police records, the killed terrorist was linked with proscribed terror outfit HM and was involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on police/SFs and civilian atrocities.”

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Police said that similarly, on a specific input generated by police regarding the presence of terrorists in Khandipora area of Awantipora, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police and Army (55RR) in the area.

“As the joint party approached the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists fired indiscriminately on the search party which was retaliated effectively, leading to an encounter,” the statement said. “In the ensuing encounter, three terrorists were killed. Among the killed terrorists, one is a foreign terrorist and another one is a LeT terrorist commander identified as Mukhtar Bhat while the identification of the third killed terrorist is being ascertained.”

The police said that as per police records, all the killed terrorists were involved in several terror crimes including the killing of one ASI of CRPF and two RPF personnel. “As per the source, Mukhtar Bhat along with a foreign militant was going for a Fidayeen attack on a security force camp,” it said.

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