Two militants, one of them a top commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba, and a minor boy were killed during a gunfight in Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Friday.
Reportedly, a joint team of Army’s 13RR, CRPF and SOG had launched a cordon at Mir Mohalla of Hajin late on Thursday.
In a press briefing, SSP Bandipora said that “Ali Bhai”, a militant, wanted to marry a local girl and had held hostage six members of her family. “Family and members of local Auqaf committee and a magistrate were brought to the encounter site to persuade the hiding militants to release the hostages,” he said.
“We rescued five members, including the minor girl. Militants did not release the minor boy. Later, we recovered the bodies of a minor namely Aatif Mir (from girl’s family) and 2 militants. The militants belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba,” confirmed SSP Bandipora.
He said the operation was launched following credible inputs about the presence of some militants in the area. As the joint team of forces approached the suspected house, the hiding militants fired upon them, triggering off an encounter. The operation was suspended for the night and resumed at the crack of the dawn, he said.
The house belonging to Abdul Hamid Mir was razed to rubble during the gunfight and all the three bodies were charred. Police and army also recovered two Ak-47 rifles.
Among the two militants killed, one is said to be ‘Ali Bhai’, a top commander of LeT who was active in the area for several years.