Srinagar: Two civilians and two militants, one of whom was a top Lashkar-e-Taiba commander, were killed today when security forces and militants exchanged fire in a village in Kashmir’s Anantnag district, the police confirmed.
“The encounter is over. Two militants have been killed,” Director General of Police S P Vaid told PTI. Vaid said the slain militants have been identified as Bashir Lashkari a commander in the LeT, and Azad Dada, also affiliated with the LeT.
LeT commander Bashir Lakshari, met his end after he was “trapped” inside a house in Dialgam area’s Brenti-Batpora, exchanging fire for the security forces who had cornered him.
Lashkari has been in the crosshairs after he and his group were involved in the brutal killing of SHO Feroz Ahmad Dar and five other policemen Kashmir two weeks ago. “The trapped ultras were involved in the killing of an SHO and five other policemen in Achabal area of south Kashmir on June 16,” a police spokesperson said.
Of the two civilian casualties, Tahira, 44, reportedly died in the crossfire. While the second casualty Shadab Ahmad Chopan, 21, was allegedly killed by the security forces who were taking action against protesters near the encounter site. Chopan had firearm injuries in his face and was declared dead at SKIMS hospital here, an official said.
Four other persons have been admitted to hospitals here with firearm injuries sustained near the site, he added.
Security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation early today after they received information about the presence of the militants. An official said the search operation turned into an encounter after the militants opened fire.
The militants were using civilians as human shields. However, security forces managed to rescue them before launching a final assault against the ultras.