LeT commander, associate killed in gunfight

Baramulla: Two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, including the outfit’s Divisional Commander were killed Monday while an Army officer sustained injuries in a gunfight in Kupwara district, officials said.
They said Special Operations Group (SOG) of police and Army’s 21and 6 RR laid a cordon around Malikpora village of Vilgam in Handwara.
“The search team zeroed in on the house of Habibullah Sheikh, where the militants were hiding. When the joint team started advances, the militants hiding in the house opened random fire. The forces returned the fire triggering gun-battle.
“In the initial exchange of gunfire, Major Sanjiv Kotwal of 6 RR was injured. He received shots in abdomen. He was instantly removed to Army’s Drugmulla hospital for treatment,” the officials said.
According to local residents, the holed up militants offered stiff resistance and engaged the forces in a fierce encounter. One militant was killed when he attempted to cross the wall and tried to escape. However, another holed up militant gave tough fight to the forces. Later, forces blasted the house killing both the militants.
Two AK-47 assault rifles, two magazines, three grenades, two cell phones, and some cash and documents were recovered from the spot, the officials said.
A police spokesman identified the slain militants as Lashkar’s group commander Abu Huraira and his associate Abu Talha.
“Both of them had infiltrated last year and were involved in cases of militancy,” the police said.
The bodies of the slain militants were handed over to the locals of the area for burial.