Top Laskhar-e-Tayiba commander Bashir Lashkari and his associate, who were behind the recent killing of six policemen, were on Saturday gunned down by the security forces in south Kashmir in a fierce encounter which also left dead two civilians, including a woman.
The security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in Brenti-Batpora in Anantnag early Saturday morning after receiving information about the presence of terrorists, including Lashkari, a police official said.
He said the search operation turned into an encounter after the terrorists opened fire on security forces.
For some time, the terrorists used 17 civilians as a human shield inside a house but the security forces managed to rescue them before launching the final assault against the
ultras, the police spokesperson said.
“The encounter is over. Two militants have been killed,” Director General of Police S P Vaid said.
Vaid said the slain terrorists Bashir Lashkari and Azad Dada, both affiliated with the LeT.
According to the police, Lashkari and his group were involved in the brutal killing of SHO Feroz Ahmad Dar and five other policemen in Achabal area of south Kashmir on June 16.
Bashir Lashkari, whose original name was Bashir Ahmed Wani, hailed from Kokernag and had joined militancy in October 2015, according to the police sources. He was A++ category terrorist.
Azad Dada, whose original name was Azad Ahmed Malik, hailed from Bijbehara and had joined militancy in January this year.
During the cross-fire between the security forces and the hiding terrorists, a 44-year-old woman Tahira and 21-year-old Shadab Ahmad Chopan were killed, the police said.
According to the locals, Chopan was killed allegedly in action by the security forces against a mob which was trying to disrupt their operation.
Chopan had firearm injuries in his face and was declared dead at the SKIMS hospital, a police official said.
Four other persons were admitted to hospitals with firearm injuries sustained near the encounter site, he added.
Photograph: Umar Ganie/Rediff.com