A commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) from Pakistan, who was responsible for several recent attacks on security personnel in Kashmir, and his associate were killed on Monday in an encounter in Srinagar, J&K Police said.
They identified the militants as LeT commander Saifullah and his associate Irshad Ahmad Dar of Pulwama.
According to officials, a joint team of J&K Police and CRPF cordoned off the city’s Barzulla neighbourhood based on inputs about the presence of militants. While a search was on, the militants opened fire on the team, leading to the gunfight.
J&K DGP Dilbag Singh told reporters, “The important thing about today’s operation was that a top Lashkar commander (Saifullah) was killed in it.”
“Saifullah was part of three major attacks — an attack on CRPF some days ago at Kaisermulla, Budgam, in which our ASI was martyred. Some days ago, another CRPF party was attacked at Kandizal in which two jawans were martyred and three others injured. After that, another attack on a convoy in Kandizal that was repelled. Also, the attack near Nowgam in which two policemen of armed police were martyred, he was involved in that as well,” DGP Singh added.
This was the eight encounter in Srinagar this year, he said. “In these eight encounters, we killed 18 terrorists so far,” DGP Singh said in response to a question.
“Lashkar and others are trying to get a foothold in the city but our int (elligence) network is good and quite effective. Because of that, our troops are able to take care of them,” he added.
Singh said that 180 militants have been killed in 75 operations across the Valley in this year so far, and 138 militants and their associates have been arrested.
The Valley has seen a steep rise in ‘shoot-and-run’ attacks by the militants in recent months. Police say Saifullah was behind most of these attacks.
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