One militant captured alive, security officials say
SRINAGAR (J&K): One of the top commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba militant outfit was among four militants killed in two separate gunfights in southern Kashmir’s Pulwama and Kulgam districts on Saturday. Government forces also claimed to have captured one militant alive.
As per reports reaching here, two militants were killed in Kulgam district in the morning while as two more militants were killed in a gunfight that took place in Pulwama district.
In Kulgam, a joint team of government forces including Army’s 1 RR and Kulgam Police launched a search operation on late night on Friday while acting on specific inputs about the presence of militants at Chinigam village of Frisal Tehsil. The search operation turned into a gunfight as exchange of fire took place.
“During the exchange of fire, two militants were killed among which one was a foreigner,” a police spokesman said, while identifying the slain as Tariq Ahmad Mir of Zangalpora Devsar, Kulgam and a foreigner Sameer Bhai alias Usman, ‘a resident of Punjab Pakistan, who was a A-category militant.’
“Both the slain militants were affiliated with Jaish-e-Muhammad outfit,” he said.
Meanwhile, Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said that a US made M-4 carbine gun and a pistol were recovered from the slain militants.
In Pulwama, another gunfight took place on Saturday in Dadoora Kangan area after a Cordon & Search Operation (CASO) was launched by a joint team of government forces including 55 RR after receiving ‘inputs about the presence of militants’ in the area.
An official from Police said that ‘during the brief exchange of fire, two militants were killed.’ He added that arms and ammunition including two AK-47 rifles were recovered from the slain militants.
The local Police identified the slain as Lashkar-e-Toiba’s top commander Zahid Nazir Bhat alias Zahid Tiger and Adnan Bhai (believed to be a foreigner), while describing the killing of Zahid Tiger as “a big success for police and security forces.”
‘Zahid Tiger’ was the cousin brother of slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander ‘Sameer Tiger’, who was killed on April 30 in an encounter at Drabgam village of Pulwama district. Pertinently, Zahid joined militancy days after Sameer’s killing.
Interestingly, police officials said that one militant was captured alive from the gunfight site at Pulwama, who was identified later identified as Firdous Ahmad Tak, a resident of Doda district of Jammu.