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TWO Lashkar-e-Taiba militants and a soldier were killed in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Monday. According to police, the militants were earlier involved in an attack on an Army convoy that left two soldiers injured.
The police have said the two militants were foreigners. One of them was identified as Furkan, who was the acting divisional commander of Lashkar in south Kashmir. Police said he was the successor of Abu Ismail, the mastermind of the Amarnath attack who was killed in an encounter in September.
On Monday afternoon, militants opened fire on an Army convoy on Srinagar-Jammu national highway, around 7 km from Anantnag town. The road opening party and the Armymen who were part of the convoy retaliated. The militants, officials said, fled and took shelter in a house at a nearby village. Security personnel soon cordoned off the house and an encounter followed.
Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police S P Vaid said the encounter is still on at Nussu Badergund in Qazigund area. “Two bodies of militants have been found,’’ he said.
Vaid tweeted, “Furkan, a Pakistani terrorist who took over as divisional commander of LeT after the elimination of Ismail, was killed in today’s encounter at Qazigund along with another terrorist identified as Abu Mavia. Great success for security forces.”
Army spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said two militants were killed in the encounter. ‘’One soldier was killed and another injured in the operation that is still in progress.’’
Residents said three youths were injured when villagers tried to march towards the encounter site and police used force to disperse the crowd.
Lashkar has claimed that four Armymen were killed in the attack on the convoy and that the attack was carried by members of Bashir Lashkari squad — Lashkari was a Lashkar commander who was killed in July.