Two Jaish-e-Mohammad militants, including the commander who masterminded Thursday’s terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama, have been killed in an encounter in the south Kashmir district, in which four army personnel were also martyred.
Sources said security forces on Monday gunned down top Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commander Abdul Rasheed Ghazi alias Kamran, in a 12-hour-long encounter with multiple JeM terrorists in Pulwama area.
He is a Pakistani terrorist believed to have plotted the terror attack that killed 40 CRPF soldiers, and a local militant named Hilal have been killed in the gunfight in Pinglan area of Pulwama district. Another terrorist is still trapped, sources said.
Indian forces have launched a massive hunt for Kashmiri fighters in parts of occupied Kashmir since Thursday, when an explosives-packed van rammed into a convoy transporting 2,500 security forces in the deadliest attack in Kashmir in 30 years.
Local residents said that Indian troops had destroyed a civilian’s house using explosives during the fighting, and Indian police claimed to have recovered the bodies of two Kashmiri fighters from the debris. A civilian was also killed in the crossfire, police added.
While the bodies of the two terrorists have been recovered, security forces are yet to confirm their identities. “The terrorists are believed to be linked to the February 14 car bombing. The exact identities of the two terrorists killed are being ascertained,” PTI quoted a defence spokesperson as saying. The four army personnel who were killed in action belonged to 55 Rashtriya Rifles.
Security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Pinglan area last night after receiving inputs about the presence of militants in the area, PTI quoted a police official as saying. He said as the forces were conducting searches, the militants fired upon them, triggering a gun battle.
More than Forty Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday when a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 350 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.
In a major diplomatic offensive against Islamabad after the attack, India has highlighted Pakistan’s role in using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.
India has demanded that Pakistan should take immediate and verifiable action against terrorists and terror groups operating from territories under its control to create a conducive atmosphere in the region, free of terror.
India on Friday announced the withdrawal of the Most Favoured Nation status for Pakistan and hiked the customs duty by 200 per cent on goods originating from Pakistan with immediate effect on Saturday.