Two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants, including a top commander of the outfit, were killed in an overnight encounter with armed forces in the Sopore area of Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district, police said on Friday.
A police spokesperson said the forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in the Warpora area of Sopore on Thursday, following specific information about the presence of ultras there.
“During the search operation, as the presence of militants got ascertained, they were given repeated opportunities to surrender. However, instead of surrendering, they fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party which was retaliated, leading to an encounter,” he said.
In the ensuing encounter, two “categorized militants of LeT” were killed, and their bodies were retrieved from the site of the encounter, the official said.
He identified them as Fayaz Ahmad War, alias Rukana, alias Umar, of Warpora, who was a top commander of the LeT, and Shaheen Ahmad Mir, alias Shaheen Molvi, of Cherpora Budgam.
“As per police records, both the slain militants were part of groups involved in various cases,” he added.
The spokesman said War had been associated with militancy since 2008.
“Although he had surrendered earlier with arms and ammunition, after his release, he again worked as a militant associate for HM and was detained under PSA. However, after his release in March 2020, he joined militant ranks of LeT,” he said.
Besides being part of groups involved in several attacks, War was very instrumental in planning and executing attacks on armed establishments, and figured among the list of most-wanted militants in north Kashmir, the spokesperson said.
“He was the last active militant who perpetrated a series attacks in north Kashmir which included an attack on police party at Warpora Sopore in March last year in which one police personnel and a civilian got killed and the attack on joint Naka party at Ahad Baba crossing on in April last year in which three CRPF personnel got killed,” he said.
The spokesman said War was also involved in the killing of a civilian, Danish Manzoor Naja of Eidipora Bomai, and an attack on a joint Naka party at Model Town Sopore in which another civilian and a CRPF trooper were killed.
He was involved in the killing of two municipal councilors and a policeman near SDH Sopore on June 12, and two police personnel and two civilians at Main Chowk, Sopore, the official added.
War was also involved in a series of grenade attacks on police and security establishments, he said.