Six terrorists gunned down in J&K's Bandipora; IAF commando martyred

Defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said that five militants were killed in the ongoing gunfight. PTI File

Defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said that five militants were killed in the ongoing gunfight. PTI File

"As the security forces closed in, the hiding terrorists fired at them triggering an encounter", said the police official.

One of the terrorists, Owaid, who was killed is the son of Zakir Rehman Maki and nephew of Zakir Rehman Lakhvi, who is mastermind of Mumbai terror attacks. Srinagar-based defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said an IAF Garud commando was also killed in the operation. "A total of six LeT militants were eliminated".

"Six terrorists have been killed in the encounter", Kalia told AFP.

The Garud Commando Force is the special forces unit of the Indian Air Force (IAF).

Indian Army and police have claimed recovery of weapons and ammunition from the gunfight site.

"The killing of Mehmood Bhai is a big jolt to LeT and we are hopeful that after this operation, security forces will gain upper hand in Hajin and its adjoining areas again", the officer said.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947. It was in this village that Commanding Officer of CRPF 45 Bn Chetan Cheetah had got critically injured even as three soldiers of Army got killed and 8 personnel injured on February 14, 2017.

Earlier in the day, large number of people defied curfew-like restrictions, imposed by the authorities, to attend the funeral of slain militant Mugees Ahmad Mir.

So far, five militants have been killed in the gunfight that erupted on Saturday afternoon. Prior to that, two terrorists had got killed in an encounter in Bonikhan Hajin on November 22, 2016.

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