SRINAGAR: Two terrorists were killed in an encounter in Hardshiva area of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district in the wee hours of Thursday and, hours later, a gunfight broke out between terrorists and security personnel in Chewa Ullar area of Tral in South Kashmir’s
. Besides these two encounters, five Lashkar-e-Taiba over-ground workers (OGWs) were arrested in
district of central Kashmir during the day.
Two days earlier, the Army had claimed that as many as 22 terrorists were eliminated in south Kashmir in the last two months, while police said 119 terrorists were killed in encounters across the Valley this year so far.
Sources identified the two terrorists killed in the Hardshiva encounter as Bilal Ahmad Parray and Waleed Bashir Mir of Sopore. They belonged to Lashkar terror outfit, the sources said.
Official sources said a joint search operation was launched by Army's 32 RR, SOG Sopore and CRPF in Hardshiva area after developing specific inputs about presence of terrorists there.
As the joint search party moved towards the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists fired upon the forces, leading to the encounter in which the two terrorists were killed, they said.
Following the elimination of the terrorists, authorities suspended mobile internet services in the entire police district of Sopore as a precautionary measure.
As regards the Tral encounter, police said that a joint team of police, Army and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation in Chewa Ullar area after getting information about the presence of terrorists there. As the team approached the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists fired upon the security personnel, who strongly retaliated, triggering the gunfight, which was intermittently on till the time of filing of this report.
About the arrest of the Lashkar OGWs, a police officer said: “Acting on a specific input, Budgam police and Army’s 2 RR arrested five terrorist associates from Narbal area during a search operation.”
The police identified the arrested OGWs as Imran Rashid, Ifshan Ahmad Ganie, Owais Ahmad, Mohsin Qadir and Abid Rather.
Police recovered 28 live rounds, one magazine of AK-47 and 20 Lashkar posters from their possession.
“This group was involved in providing logistic support and shelter to active Lashkar terrorists,” police said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Brigadier Ajay Kotch, commander of 12 Sector RR, had disclosed that 22 terrorists, including top Pakistani commanders of terror outfits, were killed in various operations in south Kashmir during the last two months.
During this period, Hizbul Mujahideen suffered maximum damage as many of its top terrorists were killed, Brigadier Kotch said, adding that several Pakistani terrorists belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar and Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind were also eliminated.
J&K director general of police (DGP) Dilbagh Singh had on Tuesday commended security personnel for killing 119 terrorists -- including Riyaz Naikoo,
alias Fauji Bhai,
, Qari Yasir, Junaid Sehrai, Burhan Koka, Haider and Tayyib Waleed – across the Valley so far this year.
Talking to reporters at CRPF’s training centre at Humhama on the sidelines of a wreath-laying ceremony of a slain CRPF head constable, who was killed in an encounter with terrorists in
on Tuesday, the DGP said security forces conduct at least a dozen anti-terror operations in Kashmir every day. “Wherever leads are perfect, among the 12 spots, highest level of synergy is maintained to ensure no collateral damage takes place,” he said.
The top cop disclosed that there are inputs that Jaish terrorists are planning “major strikes” on security forces and to thwart such attacks, highest level of alertness is being maintained across J&K.