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Three LeT militants killed in Pulwama encounter

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Srinagar: Three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants, including a Pakistani national, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Wednesday, police said.
A gunbattle broke out in Pulwama town of the south Kashmir district after the security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation following information about the presence of militants there, a police official said.
He said the search operation turned into an encounter after the militants opened fire on the security forces, who retaliated.
Three militants were killed in the gunbattle.
“One of the slain terrorists had been identified as LeT commander Aijaz @abu Huraira,” the official said, adding the slain ultra was a Pakistani national.
A police official said that the joint teams of Police, Army’s 55 RR and CRPF launched a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) on specific information about the presence of militants in the New Colony area late on Tuesday night after receiving a specific leads about the presence of militants in a house.
The official said that as the joint teams of forces approached towards the suspected house, the hiding militants opened fire, which was retaliated, after which heavy exchange of gunfire took place. “The exchange of fire remained on intermittently throughout the night and with the first light of the day on Wednesday, three militants were killed in a final assault.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir range, Vijay Kumar said that three militants including a foreign LeT commander Aijaz alias Abu Huraira were killed in Pulwama operation. He congratulated the security forces for successful operation. Witnesses, however, said that the house where militants were hiding suffered immense damage during the encounter.
Soon after the encounter ended, the authorities in Pulwama imposed strict curfew in main town as a precautionary measure while as internet services remained suspended.
An official said that curfew was imposed in entire Pulwama town “as a precautionary measure” to avert any untoward incident. “Announcements were made in the town about the curfew,” the official said. Locals of Pulwama, however, said that soon after encounter youth hit the streets and engaged forces in clashes at main town.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman said that acting on a specific information generated by Srinagar Police about presence of militants in New Colony, Hospital Road area of Pulwama, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, Army(55RR )and CRPF.
“During the search operation, the civilians were evacuated to safer places and as the presence of militants got ascertained, they were given an opportunity to surrender, however they fired indiscriminately at the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter,” the police spokesman said. “Due to darkness the operation was suspended, while the cordon remained intact .Taking advantage of darkness militants tried to escape, however they couldn’t not. In the wee hours, repeated announcements were again made to hiding militants to surrender, but the militants again fired on joint search party and the fire was retaliated.”
The police spokesman said that in the ensuing encounter, three militants of LeT outfit were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. “They have been identified as LeT commander Aijaz alias Abu Huraira, resident of Pakistan, Javeed Ahmad Rather son of Abdul Ganie Rather, resident of Tahab Pulwama, and Shahnawaz Nazir Ganie son of Nazir Ahmad Ganie, resident of Samboora, Awantipora.”
The police spokesman said that as per police records, all the slain were part of group involved in various incidents. The killed foreign militant was instrumental in recruiting innocent youth into militancy besides, planning and executing several attacks in the area. (with inputs from PTI, KNO)



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