A total of six militants were killed by security forces in an encounter in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Saturday, ANI reported. One of the deceased has been identified as Owaid, Abdul Rehman Makki’s son and 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi’s nephew.
An Indian Air Force Garud commando was killed while an Army personnel got injured during the encounter, which ensued after security forces carried out a search operation to locate militants in Hajin area’s Chandergeer village.
Arms and ammunition were also recovered from the site.
A police official said that the forces had received specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in the area, following which the search operation was initiated, according to PTI.
Born on December 30, 1960, Lakhvi, also referred to by those he has trained as “uncle”, has long served as the Lashkar’s overall military chief and is a member of its powerful general council. He is alleged to have directed operations targeting the Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir, and routed dozens of Lashkar operatives to Chechnya, Bosnia and Iraq.
Lakhvi is also among the three globally prosecuted terrorists named by India(Hafiz Saeed and Dawood Ibrahim being the other two) and the European Union in their joint statement to combat terrorism.
Below are the highlights for Bandipora operation:
7:05 pm: The encounter has ended. A total of six Lashkar-e-taiba militants have been killed, including 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi’s nephew Owaid, ANI reported. Arms and ammunition has also been recovered from the militants.
6:50 pm: Meanwhile, authorities have decided to order suspension of data services, including 2G, 3G and 4G services in Bandipora in view of the ongoing encounter, ANI reported.
6:45 pm: The defense spokesman has also confirmed that 1 Indian Air Force Garud commando was killed in the encounter, PTI reported.
6:34 pm: A defense spokesman has confirmed that 5 militants have been killed in the encounter, PTI reported.
6:26 pm: Jammu and Kashmir DGP Shesh Paul Vaid took to twitter to congratulate the forces for gunning down the militants. “Great success for security forces! So far 5 terrorists have been eliminated at Hajin Bandipore by a joint operation of @JmuKmrPolice, @crpfindia and Army,” he tweeted.
— Shesh Paul Vaid (@spvaid) November 18, 2017
6:15 pm: The Garud Commando Force is the special forces unit of the Indian Air Force. It was formed in 2004 with the aim of carrying out counter-terror operations. The force also helps in protecting important assets of the air force including fighter bases and areas meant for holding aircraft and ammunition.
6:10 pm: “Five terrorists have been killed in an ongoing encounter at Hajin,” PTI quoted Srinagar-based Defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia as saying.
5.50 pm: According to officials, the operation is currently underway.