Srinagar, Jan 24:
Two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants were killed in an encounter with forces in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on Tuesday, police said.
SSP Ganderbal, Imtiyaz Ismail told Rising Kashmir that acting on tip-off about presence of militants, a joint combing operation was launched by police, paramilitary and army men in village Hadoora in Ganderbal district during the preceding night.
He said the militants, who were hiding in a residential house, opened fire at the search party.
“The fire was returned by the troops and in the ensuing gunfight, which continued till this afternoon, two LeT militants were killed”.
The slain militants were identified as Abu Anas and Qari Hanzullah, both Pakistani nationals.
Imtiyaz said both the militants were affiliated with Lashkar-e-Toiba and working for Hurraira group.
Police claimed that 2 AK-47 rifles, 1 grenade, 6 magazines and 180 rounds were recovered from the encounter site.
The duo, according to police, was involved in last year’s militant attack on SSB convoy in Zakura area of Srinagar in which an SSB personal was killed and eight others injured.
Al- Umar militant group had owned responsibility of the attack.
“Though the claim of that attack was taken by another militant group but we are ascertaining whether the attack was carried by the two LeT militants who were killed today,” SSP Ganderbal said.
He said the duo was active for a quite long time and their involvement in militancy related activities was being ascertained.
“They were active in Ganderbal and Dhara areas and both were working for the group led by wanted LeT Commander Abu- Huraira,” he said.
A police spokesman said the duo was involved in Fidayeen attack on CRPF in Nowhatta area of downtown Srinagar on August 15, 2016 in which a CRPF commandant Pramod Kumar and a police constable were killed.
He said the duo was operating in Srinagar and Ganderbal district areas since January 22, 2013 and had recently started coordinating with Hizbul Mujahideen.
“They were transporting newly infiltrated groups from one place to another and managing safe places and hideouts for them,” he said.
Meanwhile, minor protests broke out in Hadoora village after the gunfight ended.
The protesters dispersed peacefully after protesting for almost an hour during which they chanted anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
The encounter took place a day after Army Chief General Bipin Rawat visited Srinagar to review the overall security scenario in J&K and operational preparedness of troops.