Day 2: Three Lashkar militants, five security forces personnel killed in Baramulla gunfight

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Two injured soldiers succumb today; Slain militants include Lashkar commanders Haider from Sopore, Usman from Pakistan, Two AK’s, 3 pistols recovered; Ops on

Peerzada Waseem

Kreeri, Baramulla Aug 18 (KNO): Eight persons including two top Lashkar-e-Toiba commanders and five security forces personnel were killed in the fierce gun battle that started in the orchards at Kreeri area of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district yesterday. Police and the army said that the joint operation was on in the area and the operation hasn’t been called off yet.

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Two soldiers, who were injured yesterday at Keeri, succumbed to injuries today at army’s 92 base hospital. Officials told news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that the third slain militant was identified as Usman of Pakistan, and his body was retrieved today. Defence spokesman in Srinagar Rajesh Kalia told KNO that two injured soldiers who had sustained injuries yesterday at Kreeri gunfight, succumbed today at Srinagar. He said that the number of militants killed in the two-day long operation reached three. “Two AK’s and three pistols were recovered from the site of encounter,” the Defence Spokesman said.

A police officer said that search operation is still on in the area to rule out presence of any other militant. He said that in total three militants were killed that include top Lashkar commanders—Sajad alias Hader, who was active since past five years and a Pakistani militant Usman who was north Zone commander of Lashkar. The third slain militant as identified as Anayatullah Mir of Pattan area of north Kashmir.

A tweet by Kashmir police read: “Among three killed militants, two are top commanders of LeT Sajad @ Haider & Usman(FM). Haider, main conspirator in recent #killings in #Bandipora, was also instrumental in #recruiting youth into #militant folds. Involved in several attacks on Police, SFs, civilians & political workers.”

Earlier yesterday, these three slain militants had targeted joint naka part of forces at Kreeri in north Kashmir’s Baramulla killing two CRPF men and a Special Police Officer (SPO). “The total number of security men killed in two-day long operation reached eight including five security personnel and three militants,” a police official said, adding that search operation was on. Pertinently, police had engaged the attackers, soon after they attacked the joint party of forces, which led to the encounter in orchards in Kreeri area.

Addressing a press conference yesterday at police control room Srinagar, Director General of Police (J&K) Dilbagh Singh had termed the killing of Haider as a big success for the security forces saying that he was operating on the lines of slain Hizb commander Burhan Wani and had recently started following Hizb’s chief commander Reyaz Naikoo’s footsteps and had released videos issuing threats to political workers and forces. The DGP had stated that Haider had recruited many youth into militancy fold over the past few years—(KNO)

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