LeT Man Killed In Handwara Gunfight

9 July 2014
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Majid Jahangir

Srinagar: A divisional commander of the Lashkar-e-Toiba was killed and a soldier wounded in a gunfight in Kupwara district of north Kashmir on Wednesday. The slain militant was identified as Abu Musa, who had been operating in the Handwara, Rajwara and Ramhall belt of Kupwara district since 2012. 'The militant was involved in the killing of a police head constable in the Hangalpora area of Vilgam on July 13 last year. He was involved in the attack on an Army convoy at Dragmulla on November 16 last year,' a police spokesman said in Srinagar. The gunfight began on Wednesday afternoon when security forces launched a search operation after receiving information about the presence of two or three militants at Hamlapati village in Handwara. As the special operations group of the police, the 21 Rashtriya Rifles and the 92 Battalion of the CRPF cordoned off the area, militants opened indiscriminate fire, which was retaliated. 'The search operation in the area started around 3:30 pm. Almost an hour later, militants opened fire on the troops. The fire was retaliated and Musa was killed in the encounter,' a defence source said. 'An Army jawan was wounded in the gunfight. He was evacuated to he Army Base Hospital in Srinagar, where his condition was stable,' the source added. One AK-47 rifle, three magazines and 60 rounds of ammunition were recovered. The exchange of fire was continuing till the filing of this report. Forces suspected that more militants were hiding in the village. The sources said other militants had fled, but the operation was on. Arms seized: Security forces on Wednesday seized arms and ammunition from a militant hideout in the Nilman forest area of Ramban district. 'Based on a specific Intelligence input about the presence of a hideout, a joint operation was launched by the Rashtriya Rifles and the police in the Nilman forest area in Ramban district today,' said a defence spokesperson. He said one AK-56 rifle with two magazines, one .303 rifle with magazine, 57 rounds of 7.62 mm SLR, Kenwood radio transceiver, one IED circuit, two hand grenade fuses, one solar charging plate and one leather belt for carrying ammunition were recovered from the hideout.