Lashkar’s Pulwama commander killed in home village

Lashkar’s Pulwama commander killed in home village
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PULWAMA: The Lashkar-e-Taiba’s (LeT) district commander for Pulwama was killed in a brief gunfight with government forces at his home village on Wednesday evening. During the gunfight, one other militant reportedly managed to escape.
The slain commander has been identified as Irfan Ahmad Sheikh, son of Gulzar Ahmad, resident of Chakoora Pulwama. He had been LeT’s commander for Pulwama district since last year, police said.
Sources said Irfan had joined LeT in November 2017.
The encounter took place after a team of government forces including army’s 55 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), police and paramilitary CRPF cordoned off Chakoora village, after “receiving inputs about the presence of a group of militants, including LeT commander Irfan”, a police officer told Kashmir Reader.
He said that the hiding militants opened fire at the team of government forces. “The militants tried to flee and fired upon the joint party, which was retaliated to and in which the local Lashkar-e-Toiba militant was killed,” the police officer said.
He said the body of the slain militant was recovered from the encounter site, along with a weapon.
According to reports, one other militant escaped from the encounter site during the initial exchange of fire.
Meanwhile, protests erupted in Chakoora village and adjoining areas. Witnesses said that protesters resorted to heavy stone-pelting on government forces and raised anti-India slogans soon after the encounter started in the area.
Government forces prevented the protestors from reaching the encounter site and chased them away. However, the protesters later reassembled and again pelted stones at government forces, who this time resorted to firing teargas shells.
No one was reported injured in clashes in the area.
Authorities suspended mobile internet services in the district as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of rumours, police said.