Srinagar: Government forces on Tuesday claimed to have killed four suspected militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba in a gun-battle, about 17 km inside the Line of Control (LoC) in Nowgam sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. This is the second gunfight in two weeks in the area. On July 9, two militants belonging to Al Badr group were killed in the same area.
An injured militant, who is believed to have infiltrated several weeks ago and injured in a previous encounter, has been arrested from the encounter site, officials said.
Defence sources said that the forces were tracking down a group comprising four to five militants in Nowgam forests after specific input on their having crossed the LoC five days ago. The group was intercepted late on Monday evening, defence sources claimed. The claims are not verifiable because the area is 120 kilometres from Srinagar and out of bounds for local residents.
The defence sources said that during the ensuing gunfight, four militants were killed. They have not been identified but are believed to be non-locals.
Sources said that a militant identified as Bahadur Ali alias Saifullah was captured alive from the encounter site. A resident of Lahore, Saifullah is believed to have been injured in a previous encounter. “Saifullah had gone into the area to receive the fresh group of militants,” sources said. They said he is a resident of Lahore, the capital of Punjab province in Pakistan. He is the fourth militant who has been captured alive since August 2015 in Jammu and Kashmir.
Three AK-series rifles, two pistols and other war-like stores were recovered from the encounter site, officials said.