LeT commander among 2 terrorists killed in Pulwama encounter

Smoke billows out from a house during an encounter between security forces and militants, in Pulwama district, Monday, June 3, 2024.
Smoke billows out from a house during an encounter between security forces and militants, in Pulwama district, Monday, June 3, 2024.

Srinagar | In a major breakthrough, two terrorists of banned Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), including a self-styled 'commander' who had been operating for the longest period, were killed in an encounter with the security forces in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

The anti-terror operation started at 11.45 PM on Sunday when Jammu and Kashmir Police along with the army and paramilitary forces laid a cordon around a house in the Nihama area of Pulwama district following intelligence input about the presence of terrorists, they said.

The encounter with the two holed-up terrorists started at 7 AM on Monday after the duo identified as Riyaz Dar alias "Sathar" and Rayees Dar refused to surrender, they said.

During the operation, which was overseen by Deputy Inspector General of Police (South Kashmir) Altaf Khan, precaution was adopted to ensure that there was no collateral damage or any harm to any civilian life, they said.

The firing intensified in the afternoon following which the house in which the two terrorists were holed up caught fire.

The operation was called off at 4 PM after the recovery of the bodies of two terrorists.

Riyaz Dar had joined the Lashker-e-Taiba in 2014 and had closely worked with slain Pakistani terrorists Abu Dujana and Abu Ismail. He had participated in many terror-related activities.

While Riyaz, designated as an A++ terrorist, carried a cash reward of above Rs 10 lakh, Rayees Dar was categorised as 'A' carrying a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh.

This is the second anti-terror operation in South Kashmir in less than four weeks.

On May 7, the police achieved a major success after they gunned down Basit Dar, self-styled commander of the banned The Resistance Front (TRF) terror group, a shadow group of Lashker-e-Taiba.

He and another terrorist, Momeen, were killed in an encounter in Kulgam's Redwani village. Both were involved in 18 terror-related cases which included targeting of minorities and police personnel.

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