Srinagar: Two militant and an army man were killed while as four soldiers sustained injuries in an encounter that followed the attack on an army convoy on Srinagar-Jammu national highway near Nassu-Badragund area of south Kashmir’s Qazigund town. Police sources believe that one among the slain militants is Yawar Wani a wanted LeT commander.
The gunfight broke out between militants and government forces after militants attacked an army convoy which was on its way to the Srinagar from Jammu.
Sources said that militants after carrying out an attack on an army patrol at Bounigam leaving three soldiers injured fled away and took shelter inside a school building.
As the joint team of forces intensified the searches to trace out the hiding attackers, the hiding militants fired upon forces triggering an encounter.
Talking to Kashmir Vision, IG Kashmir Munir Khan said that it was a Lashkar group.
“We are yet to retrieve the bodies. It was the Yawar group who attacked the army convoy,” Khan said.
Meanwhile, militant outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) has claimed responsibility of the attack on army convoy in Bonigam Qazigund. LeT spokesman Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi said that the attack was carried out by ‘Bashir Lashkari squad’ of the outfit. He claimed that 4 army men were killed and several others were injured.
Notably, the Srinagar-Jammu national highway was closed due to the encounter between Army and militants in Qazigund. Many passenger and tourists were stranded for about 3-4 hours.
Later in the evening, Defence spokesman Rajesh Kallia said that two militants and a soldier died in the gunfight. He, however, said that the operation in the area is still going on.
Police sources said that the militants who carried the attack were identified as Yawar Bashir Wani and a foreign national.
Yawar Bashir Wani snatched a weapon from a police officer in February 2017 and joined Lashkar-e-Taiba, according to police sources. Yawar’s father, Bashir Ahmad Wani, is a civil servant in the forestry department of the state.
Police had blamed Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT), for the deadly July 10 attack on Amarnath pilgrims that left eight pilgrims dead and 18 others injured.
The IGP during a press conference had said that investigation conducted has established that these accused persons in association with four militants Ismail @ Haroon, Maaviya, Furqan and Yawar Bashir @ Ayan S/O Bashir Ahmad Wani R/O Hablish, Devsar Kulgam carried out the attack.
He said that among four militants three were foreigners and one is a local.
Before becoming a militant, Yawar was a student of religious seminary Darul-Uloom Bilaliya, Srinagar. He snatched a weapon from a police personnel on 04-02-2017 at Hazratbal, Srinagar and joined militant ranks, police had said.