2 Lashkar militants killed

SHABIR AHMAD
ANANTNAG: Two Lashker-e-Toiba militants, including a Divisional Commander of the outfit, were killed Sunday in an encounter with troops in neighbouring Pulwama district of south Kashmir.
The encounter took place when army’s Rashtriya Rifles, paramilitary CRPF and Special Operations Group (SOG) of police launched a search operation in Rishipora village following information about the presence of militants there, police said.
As troops zeroed in on their target, the holed up militants fired at them. Two militants were killed in the gunfight, police said.
Deputy Inspector General of police, south Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said that the two militants were killed in an open. “They tried to break the cordon by firing on forces, but both of them were gunned down few yards from the house they were hiding in,” Kumar told Kashmir Reader.
Police identified the slain militants as Bilal Ahmed Bhat of Lilahar, Kakapura, Pulwama, and Mudasir Ahmad Sheikh of Kirkipora, Pulwama. Bilal had joined militant ranks three years ago while Mudasir had picked up the gun only one and a half month ago.
Bilal was a Divisional Commander of the LeT, according to the police, and was allegedly involved in the killing of Dr. Jalal and his two police guards at Pampore in July last year.
According to an army spokesman, one AK-47, one pistol and “other warlike stores” were recovered from the encounter site.
Reports said after the encounter came to an end at 8 pm, scores of youths pelted stones at police and troops and chanted anti-India, pro-freedom and pro-militant slogans. The police retaliated with heavy teargas shelling, and the pitched battles continued till late evening.
The clashes were also reported from some places in Kakapora area.