SRINAGAR: Top Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Azad Ahmad Malik was among six militants killed in a gunfight in Shalgund village of Dashnipora in Bijbehara area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Friday.
An army spokesman in Srinagar said that six militants were killed in the gunfight. “Six militants killed, weapons and warlike stores recovered. Operation in progress,” said the spokesman.
“Bijbehara Encounter update: 06 militants eliminated in the encounter. Arms and Ammunition recovered. Identities are being ascertained,” police said on Twitter.
Two among the slain identified so far are Azad Ahmad Malik alias Dada of Arwani and his associate Basit Mir of Khanabal.
The identity of other slain militants is being ascertained, said an official.
He said the bodies of Malik and Mir have been handed over to the next of their kin. The bodies of other four militants are lying at the DPL Anantnag.
Pertinently, Malik has been blamed by the police for the killing of journalist and editor Shujaat Bukhari.
Reports said that a joint team of army’s 3RR and SOG Anantnag launched a cordon and search operation before dawn in Shalgund-Satkipora in Dachnipora belt of Bijbehara following inputs about the presence of militants.
As soon as the forces approached the suspected spot, the hiding militants opened fire, triggering a gunfight.
Authorities have suspended mobile Internet services in Anantnag district as a “precautionary measure.”
Based on a credible input about the presence of militants, a cordon and search operation was launched jointly by Police and security forces at the onset of dawn today inside a jungle area of Shalgund-Satkipora at Bijbehara in District Anantnag.
As the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the militants. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight.
In the process, six militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. Their identities and affiliation are being ascertained.
Incriminating materials including huge quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter.
Police has registered a case and initiated investigation in the matter. Pertinently no collateral damage took place in this incident.
Citizens are requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials.
People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any.__GK News