Following a protracted encounter between security forces and militants in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, News18 reported that Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Bashir Lashkari was killed along with his associate, who is believed to be Ajad Ahmed Malik. The LeT militants were trapped in the security forces' cordon in village Brenti.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) July 1, 2017
A police spokesman said that these trapped militants were involved in the killing of an SHO and five other policemen in Achabal area of south Kashmir on 16 June. The Jammu and Kashmir police had announced a bounty of Rs 10 lakh on Lashkari after the attack on the SHO.
Lashkari is a resident of Sopshali Kokernag and was recruited by LeT on 2 October, 2015. He was the outfit's commander in Anantnag distrcit, News18 reported.
Along with the militants, two civilians have also reportedly died in the crossfire. Tahira died in cross fire between security forces and militants while Chopan was allegedly killed in security forces' action against protesters near the encounter site. Chopan had firearm injuries on his face and was declared dead at the hospital.
The official statement made public by News Nation read, "Forces received specific information about the presence of two or three Lashkar-e-Taiba militants at Brinthi Batpora, Dialgam district Anantnag, south Kashmir. While laying cordon, militants were found holed up in a house. As forces were trying to open the house, the militants fired and army retaliated."
While the army claimed that the militants were using human shields and they have rescued 17 civilians, an AFP report quoted some witnesses as saying that the people went to the house where the militants were holed up to help them as the soldiers arrived in the area.
"They (the civilians) told the soldiers from inside the house that either let the militants go or kill us as well," said a resident of Dialgam, who declined to give his name.
As gunshots were heard in the area, hundreds of villagers came out on to the streets shouting anti-India slogans and throwing stones at soldiers in their attempts to break the cordon and help the militants escape.
All schools and colleges in the area were shut down to ensure that there was no hurdle in the operations. Mobile services have also been suspended, according to reports.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Jul 01, 2017 02:05 pm | Updated Date: Jul 01, 2017 02:22 pm