Srinagar: Six militants including the nephew of Lashkar-e-Toiba operational chief Zaikur-ur-Rehman Lakhvi were killed in a fierce firefight at Hajin area of Bandipora district in north Kashmir today while an Indian Air Force (IAF) commando was also killed in the fierce gunfight. The encounter also left a soldier from the 13 RR and a civilian injured.
Army’s Srinagar based defence spokesman said that a Joint team of army’s 13 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon following specific inputs about presence of some militants at Chandergeer in Hajin.
As such the joint team of forces intensified the combing operation, the hiding militants opened fire upon them triggering an encounter, he said.
Director General of Police (DGP) SP Vaid said that six militants including nephew of Lakhvi have been gunned down in the encounter.
“The encounter is over and was a success. Total of 6 LeT militants eliminated. Weapons and ammunition recovered. One of the terrorist named Owaid (Osama Jangi) is son of Zakir Rehman Maki and nephew of Zakir Rehman Lakhvi (mastermind of Mumbai terror attacks),” he said in a tweet on micro-blogging website, Twitter.
The DGP also added in another tweet that LeT commanders Zargam and Mehmood have also been killed in the operation. He said all the six militants are Pakistani nationals. Police sources also identified another slain militant as Abu Kitaal.
Meanwhile, the defence spokesman said that two soldiers including an IAF Garud commando suffered injuries in the encounter and were hospitalized. However, the IAF guard succumbed to injuries in the military hospital, he said, adding that the search operation in the area is still going on.
Meanwhile, reports said that a civilian identified as Ashiq Hussain, son of Ghulam Muhammad received a bullet wound in his leg and was immediately shifted to nearby hospital where from he was referred to JVC hospital Srinagar for specialised treatment.
During the encounter, clashes erupted in the area between locals and government forces. Internet services in Bandipora district have been suspended as a precautionary measure, an official said.
Notably, another nephew of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi was killed in a gunfight in the same district.
Identified as Abu Musaib was in his mid-twenties when he was killed in an encounter at Khosa Mohalla in Hajin, Bandipora in January this year.
Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhavi, the 60 year old, is a top leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba and currently serves as Supreme Commander of operations in Kashmir and as a member of LeT’s General Council. He is listed on the NIA most wanted list.
Lakhvi, was born in the Okara district of Punjab, Pakistan. He has directed military actions in Chechnya, Bosnia, Iraq and South-east Asia and is referred to as Chachu, or Uncle, by the young trainees.