2 Top Lashkar Militants Killed in Kashmir Gunfight

Srinagar, April 24: Two top militants owing allegiance to the Pakistan based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed in a gunfight with Indian soldiers in Kashmir on Sunday.

“Based on a tip-off, army men identified a militant hideout near Danabi Nala in the mountainous Banihal area some 120 kms South of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir on Sunday afternoon. A combing and search operation was launched and during the search operation, the militants present in the area fired from automatic weapons towards the soldiers. The fire was returned by the search party and in the ensuing gunfight, two Lashkar top militants were killed,” an army spokesman said.

He identified the deceased militants as Ayaz Ahmed Malik alias Abu Musa and Farooq Ahmed See alias Zulkernain. “Abu Musa took to militancy in 2001 when he exfiltrated to Pakistan administered Kashmir and received training there. Young, crafty and tech-savvy, he continuously evaded the soldiers successfully for over a decade. Musa was responsible for the killing of a number of soldiers, informers and policemen,” he said.

Zulkernain joined the ranks with Abu Musa in August of last year. “The duo operated together and had recently come out of their winter hibernation,” the spokesman said and termed the killing of two militants as a major setback to Lashkar-e-Toiba.

“One AK-74 rifle, one AK-47 rifle, six magazines, one Thuraya Satellite phone, 160 rounds of AK, one Chinese grenade, one mobile phone, one binocular, one compass and some blankets and rations were seized from the encounter spot,” he said.