J&K: 3 LeT militants killed in encounter in Sopore

Kristopher Drake
August 7, 2017

Three Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore town on Saturday, police said.

During questioning, the three men confessed that they were working at the behest of LeT operative Wasim Shah and were tasked with hurling grenades at police establishments and snatching the weapons of the security men in Shopian, said the spokesman.

The July shooting was the worst such attack in the divided Himalayan region since 2000, when terrorists fired at a group of Hindu pilgrims and killed 32 people including two police officers. The other two terrorists are believed to be from Pakistan, the police said adding that efforts were underway to ascertain their identity.

Khan identified three arrested OGWs as Bilal Reshi (a shopkeeper), Aizaj Ahmed Wagey (a medical representative) and Zahoor Ahmed Sheikh (an ad-hoc state road transport corporation driver). "Lashkar was involved and accused have been identified", said Inspector General (IG), Kashmir Range, Munir Khan.

Khan said the attack was to be carried out on July 9, but on that day no yatri or CRPF vehicle was moving in isolation.

Three militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed in an encounter with security forces in Sopore area of north Kashmir after the battleground shifted there from south Kashmir on Saturday.

The Indian army has stepped up anti-insurgency operations in India-administered Kashmir in recent months, killing more than 60 suspected militants since May, according to data collated by the South Asia Terrorism Portal. Khan said the militants used the code word "Bilal" for a CRPF vehicle and "Shaukat" for a vehicle belonging to the Amarnath pilgrims. After his interrogation, the police arrested the other two accused. He said the militants were planning to attack either CRPF or yatra buses. The militants attacked the bus on July 10 near Botengoo when it was on its way to Jammu. "We are quite near to them and hopefully, we will neutralising Militants soon". The attack evoked widespread condemnation across the Valley and outside.

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