Three JeM militants killed in gunfight in South Kashmir

Three JeM militants killed in gunfight in South Kashmir

Three Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants, including a top militant commander, were killed in a gunfight in south Kashmir’s Tral on Saturday. The militant commander killed has been identified as Wakeel Ahmad Shah, who figured in the most wanted list of militants released recently by the police.

Police said Shah was involved in killing BJP leader and councilor Rakesh Pandita at Tral Payeen. Pandita was killed on June 2, when he was visiting his friend at Tral.

On Saturday, a joint team of police and the Army cordoned off Nagaberan, a high-altitude village in the woods of Tral in south Kashmir, after receiving inputs about the presence of militants. As the team of forces were zeroing in on the target, the militants opened fire, trying to break the security cordon and the security team retaliated, leading to a gunfight, the police said.

“In the ensuing encounter three terrorists of proscribed terror outfit JeM were killed and their bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter,” police said in a release. “One of the killed terrorists has been identified as Wakeel Ahmad Shah. Identification of the two others…is being ascertained.”

The operation was launched in the same forest areas where JeM’s Pakistani commander Saifullah, alias Lamboo, was killed last month.

Police said Shah was a categorised militant, who was “instrumental in planning and executing terror attacks on security establishments and civilian killings”. His name figured in the list of 10 most wanted militant commanders issued by Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar on August 3. The list contained names of seven old militants and three new militant commanders.

“He (Shah) was also involved in a series of firing/grenade lobbing attacks on Police/security forces,” the police statement said. “Incriminating materials including arms and ammunition were also recovered from the site of the encounter”.

Police said IGP Kumar, GoC 15 Corps Lt Gen D P Pandey, and GoC Victor Force Maj Gen Rashim Bali visited the encounter site.

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