In a blow to an Al-Qaeda affiliate terror group, police on Saturday neutralised six terrorists, including a close associate of Zakir Musa, in south Kashmir's Awantipora area, police said.
"It was a smooth operation and all the six terrorists have been neutralised," said Swayam Prakash Pani, the inspector general of police -Kashmir range.
He said all the six were wanted in militancy-related activities.
Police said the slain terrorists belonged to the Ansar Ghazwatul Hind, a terror outfit led by Zakir Musa and having allegiance to the banned Al-Qaeda.
A police spokesman said security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Arampora village in Awantipora area of the south Kashmir's Pulwama district, following specific intelligence about the presence of terrorists there.
As the forces were conducting searches, terrorists opened fire on them, he said, adding the forces retaliated leading to a gunfight in which the terrorists were killed.
He said there was no collateral damage during the operation.
He said the slain terrorists have been identified as Soliha Mohammad Akhoon, a resident of Arampora Tral; Faisal Ahmad Khanday, a resident of Amlar; Nadeem Ahmad Sofi, a resident of Batagund, Tral; and Rasiq Mir, Rouf Mir and Umar Ramzan, all residents of Dadsara, Tral.
IGP Pani said, "All the six terrorists were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of terror crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities."
The AGuH terrorist group was part of the Zakir Musa faction and was active in Pulwama district, the police spokesman said.
"As per police records, Rasiq had a long history of terror crime for last five years. Several terror cases were registered against him," the spokesperson said.
"Akhoon, according to police records, also had a long history of terror crimes since 2015 and was involved in several terror attacks on security establishments and many other civilian atrocities in the area," the spokesman said.
He said Sofi and Ramzan were also "involved in several terror crimes".
"Also, Rouf and Khanday were involved in planning and executing many terror attacks in the area," he said.
The spokesman said the bodies of all the six militants were handed over to their legal heirs after completion of medico-legal formalities.
"Arms and ammunition, including rifles, were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in the case records for further investigation and probe their complicity in other terror cases," he said.
The spokesman appealed to people not to venture near the encounter site since such an area could prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials.
"People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials," he said.
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