SRINAGAR: Three Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists holed up in a house at Kokernag in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district were shot dead by security forces on Tuesday after they refused an offer to surrender and opened fire at the advancing team, J&K Police said.
Villagers caught in the crossfire were safely evacuated after the joint team of the police, Army and CRPF paused the operation for some time to ensure there were no civilian casualties.
The 4am encounter took place after security forces zeroed in on a house at Sheikhpora village in the Vailoo area of Kokernag, based on intelligence inputs about the presence of three Lashkar terrorists there. “The trio had been given the opportunity to surrender, but they chose to retaliate. All three were killed in the ensuing encounter,” a police spokesperson said.
The slain terrorists were identified as Ilyas Ahmad Dar alias Sameer of Kokernag, Ubaid Shafi alias Abdullah of Batamaloo in Srinagar and Aqib Ahmad Lone alias Sahil of Khandaypora in Kulgam. “As per police records, they were all part of various attacks on security forces and security establishments.”
IGP (Kashmir range) Vijay Kumar tweeted that Ubaid Shafi was involved in the terror attack on the house of a BJP functionary at Aari Bagh in Srinagar’s Nowgam on April 1. A cop identified as Rameez Raja was killed in that attack.
An AK-47 rifle, two pistols and other incriminating materials were found at the site of Tuesday’s encounter.
The police said family members of the slain militants would be allowed to attend their funeral after the completion of medico-legal formalities.