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5 LeT Militants Killed In Kulgam Gunfight: Police

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Local residents gather outside a damaged house after a encounter between Lashkar-e-Toiba militants and a joint team of J&K Police and Security Forces in Kulgam, South Kashmir on Friday, November 17, 2023. KT Photo/Sajad Ahmad

SRINAGAR: Five local militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba militant outfit were killed in an encounter with police and security forces on Day 2 of the gunfight in village Samno, Damhal Hanjipora near Kulgam, South Kashmir on Friday, a statement from police said.

“Acting on specific information regarding presence of terrorists in village Samno, DH Pora area of district Kulgam, a joint cordon and search operation was launched yesterday by Kulgam Police and Army (34 RR) in the said area,” Local news gathering agencies quoting a statement of police spokesperson said.

“During the search operation, as the joint search party approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists fired indiscriminately upon them, which was retaliated effectively leading to an encounter. Later on, CRPF (18BN) also joined the anti-terrorist operation. However, due to darkness the operation was kept on hold till early morning. The cordon remained intact throughout the night & with the help of additional reinforcement the cordoned area was further strengthened,” he said.

“With the first light today, the operation was resumed, which resulted in the elimination of five terrorists. Their bodies have been retrieved from the site of encounter & have been identified as Yasir Bilal Bhat @Humais son of Bilal Ahmad Bhat resident of KG RAINA Wanpoh, Danish Hameed Thoker son of Abdul Hameed, Ubaid Ahmad Padder son of Wali Mohd Padder, both residents of Chakoora Shopian, Sameer Farooq Sheikh son of Farooq Ahmad resident of Chak Cholend Shopian and Hanzal Yaqoob Shah @Hanzilla son of Mohd Yaqoob Shah resident of Rawalpora Shopian. All the killed terrorists were linked with proscribed terror outfit LeT/TRF,” the police added.

“As per the police records, the killed terrorists were categorized terrorists and involved in several terror crime cases including attacks on Police/SFs and civilian atrocities,” he said, adding that they were also involved in number of attacks on minority pickets. The killed terrorist Sameer Farooq and terrorist Danish Hameed were involved in attack on a Kashmiri Pandit Sonu Bhat of Chotigam, Shopian.

“Terrorist Danish Hameed alongwith terrorist Hanzal Yaqoob Shah were also involved in terror attack on outside labourers at Gagren, Shopian on 13/07/2023, in which 03 outside labourers got injured. Terrorist Sameer Farooq Sheikh was also involved in instigating & luring local youth to join terrorist ranks besides was involved in attack on minority picket at Heepora Batagund, Shopian,” he added.

“Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition including 04 AK-series rifles, 04 Grenades and 02 Pistols were recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered materials have been taken into case records for further investigation,” the police added.

“In this regard, a case under relevant sections of law has been registered and further investigation is in progress. People are requested to cooperate with Police till the area at encounter site is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials, if any,” he added.

An earlier report on Thursday said that three Lashkar-e-Toiba militants have been killed in a gunfight at village Samno area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Friday morning, an official said.
A report quoting a senior officer said that three LeT militants have been killed.
On Thursday, a joint team of Police and the army launched a cordon and search operation in the area.
As the joint team of forces zeroed in the suspected spot, the hiding militants fired on the joint team, which was retaliated, triggering off a gunfight.
The operation was suspended due to darkness in the area as a precautionary measure and resumed Friday morning with the first light.

Earlier reports said that firing resumed between militants and security forces after lull overnight in village Samno area of Damhal Hanjipora area in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Friday morning.
On Thursday, fierce gunfight erupted between militants and security forces in Samno after forces received specific inputs about the presence of some militants in the area.
Till Thursday evening, no militant was reported to have been killed yet. Some unconfirmed reports from the encounter site suggested that at least five militants were trapped in the area.