In a major success, security forces on Saturday gunned down two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants, including commander Bashir Lashkari who was behind the killing of six policemen last month. Two civilians, 44-year-old Tahira and 21-year-old Shadab Ahmad Chopan, were also killed during the operation in Brenti-Batpora village in Dialgam area of the district. “The encounter is over. Two militants have been killed,” Director General of Police S P Vaid told Press Trust of India. Vaid further added that neutralised militants had been identified as Lashkar-e-Taiba affliated Bashir Lashkari and Azad Dada. Earlier, Tahira, a civilian, died in crossfire between security forces and militants holed up inside a house in the village, while, Chopan was allegedly killed in security forces’ action against certain individuals protesteting near the encounter site. PTI reported that the Chopan had suffered firearm injuries in his face and was declared dead at the SKIMS hospital.
A police official told PTI that four other persons were admitted to hospitals with firearm injuries sustained near the encounter site. As per the police, Lashkari and his group were ones who perpetrated the brutal killing of SHO Feroz Ahmad Dar and five other policemen in Achabal area of south Kashmir on June 16. The search operation was launched by police earlier this morning after they received a tip-off about the presence of militants, including Lashkari, a police official said.
The search operation turned into an encounter after the militants opened fire on security forces. The police also told media that as many as 17 civilians were used as human shields by militants, however, security forces managed to rescue them before launching a final assault.