Anantnag: Two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, “sent across from Pakistan to attack Amarnath Yatra,” were killed in a “swift gunfight” between militants and government forces late Monday night here in Bemina area of Srinagar city, police said.
A policeman also sustained minor injuries during the gunfight but his condition is stated to be stable.
The slain militants have been identified by the police as Abdullah Gojri, a resident of Faisalabad in Pakistan, and Adil Hussain Mir, a resident of Anantnag district.
“These militants had managed to flee a gunfight recently in Zaloora area of Sopore, and were being tracked since,” Inspector General of Police (IGP) Vijay Kumar said.
On June 6, police had claimed to have killed a Pakistani Jaish-e-Muhammad militant in Zaloora area of Sopore, while three other militants were said to have managed to escape.
“Mir had been in Pakistan since 2018, after crossing over on a visa through the Wagah border. The three militants, including Mir, were recently sent into Kashmir with the intent to attack Amarnath Yatra. All three of them have now been killed,” Kumar said, terming the killing of these militants as a huge success.
The gunfight took place at about midnight on Monday in Bemina area of Srinagar. “It was a swift operation, carried out after receiving specific input regarding the movement of these militants,” a senior police official said.
He said that a policeman was also injured in the brief gunfight but is now stable and being treated at a hospital.
“Bodies of the slain militants have been retrieved and will be sent to north Kashmir for burial after completion of all the medico-legal formalities,” the official said.
The authorities have refused to hand over bodies of slain militants to their families, citing Covid protocol, since April 2020. The practice of burying militants at undisclosed locations in presence of a few family members has continued ever since. This has prevented people from holding massive funeral prayers for slain militants.
Kumar has recently said that 100 militants, 29 of them Pakistani nationals, have been killed this year thus far in different gunfights. With this gunfight, the number of militants slain has reached 102, including 72 local youth and 30 Pakistani militants.
11 of the slain militants have been killed in the month of June so far.
The security agencies have been emphasising that the Amarnath Yatra this year is under threat.
On May 10, after the killing of two militants in Dooru area of Anantnag district, Kumar had termed the gunfight an “important” one, given the militants were hiding in close proximity to the NH-44.
On May 6, a most-wanted Hizb militant, Ashraf Moulvi, was killed along with his two aides in a forest area of Batkoot in Pahalgam along the Amarnath Yatra route.