50 militants, 17 soldiers killed in J&K this year so far

Jammu: Fifty militants including several top commanders of Jaish-e-Mohmmad (JeM) and Lashker-e-Tioba (LeT) have killed in encounters by government forces in Jammu and Kashmir this year so far, officials said on Friday.

Seventeen forces personnel also lost their lives in the encounters, they said.

The militants also killed nine civilians in the last four months, the officials said.

A senior official told PTI that the slain militants included top commanders of JeM, LeT and Hizbul Mujahideen.

He said of the 50 militants killed so far this year, 18 were slain during the ongoing lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Four militants, including district commander of LeT Muzaffar Ahmed Bhat, were killed in an encounter with government forces in Dialgam area of Anantnag district in south Kashmir on March 15, the official said, adding they belonged to LeT and Hizbul Mujahideen outfits.

On January 25, three militants, including JeM’s “self-styled Kashmir chief” Qari Yasir, were killed while three soldiers were injured in an encounter between forces and ultras in the Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, he said.

On January 23, another top militant commander Abu Saifullah alias Abu Qasim, an associate of Yasir, was killed in Khrew area of Pulwama district, the official said.

On April 9, top Jaish-e-Mohammed commander Sajad Nawab Dar was killed by forces in Sopore in Baramulla district in north Kashmir, he said.

A top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Haroon Wani was killed in a fierce encounter with the forces in the Gundana area of Doda in Jammu and Kashmir on January 15, he said.

Giving further details, the officer said 18 militants were killed during the lockdown in J&K since March 14.

As many as 160 militants were killed and 102 arrested in Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh had said earlier. (PTI)

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