A TOP Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant was killed in a gunbattle in south Kashmir on Wednesday. Eight militants have been killed in five separate encounters in the Valley in the past three days.
Police said top Jaish militant Shamsu-ud-din Sofi was killed in a gunfight in Waggad village of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Sofi was one of the oldest militants, they said.
On Wednesday morning, a joint team of J-K police, army and paramilitary forces cordoned off the Tilwani Mohalla of Waggad village in Tral after specific inputs about the presence of militants. As the joint team was zeroing in on the target, the trapped militant opened fire.
“During the search operation, the militants were given repeated opportunities to surrender. However, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was responded to, leading to an encounter,” police said in a statement. “In the ensuing encounter, one terrorist was killed … He has been identified as Shamus-ud-Din Sofi alias Sham Sofi, a top commander of proscribed terror outfit JeM,” said the statement.
Sofi, police said, joined the militant ranks in June 2019 and figured among the most wanted militants operating in the Valley. “(He) was first arrested in 2004 and detained under the Public Safety Act for providing logistic support and shelter to active terrorists in Tral,” police said.
Police said Sofi was part of the militant groups involved in “several terror crime cases, including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities. “(He was) the number one among the local JeM terrorists,” they said.
Kashmir has seen a spurt in encounters since the civilian killings. On Tuesday, five militants were killed in two gunfights in south Kashmir’s Shopian. On Monday, too, two militants were killed in as many gunbattles in south and north Kashmir.