Two Top Lashkar-e-Toiba Militants Killed in Gunfight in Kashmir

Two top militants of Pakistan based militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba were killed in a fierce gunfight with Indian soldiers in Indian administered Kashmir on Sunday.

A police official said after receiving inputs about the presence of militants in a natural cave at Bonzwar area in mountainous Kishtwar region, a joint search and combing operation was launched by Indian army and policemen in the area last evening.

He said during the operation, the soldiers located the cave and encircled it from all sides. “The militants present inside the cave were asked to surrender and lay-down the weapons. However, they turned down the surrender offer and fired from AK-47 rifles towards the soldiers. The fire was returned by the soldiers, triggering an encounter,” he said.

He said the encounter continued until Sunday morning. “Both the Lashkar militants hiding in the cave were killed. The soldiers did not suffer any casualties,” he said.

The official identified the deceased militants as Shanawaz Ahmed Khandey alias Bilal and Mohammad Rafi, both local militants. “An AK 47 rifle, 2 AK magazine, 56 rounds, one pistol, kerosene oil, blankets, quilt, rice 5Kg, mustard Oil 2Kh, Mobile phone and two SIM cards were recovered from the cave,” he said.

He said while Shahnawaz was a recycled militant, Rafi was a formerly a policeman, who had deserted his camp, fled away with his service weapon and joined militant ranks in 2005.