Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba suffered a major setback as security personnel shot down five of its top terrorists, including three self-styled divisional commanders, during an encounter in the border district of Kupwara on Friday.
The five LeT militants were killed after a day-long encounter which ended Friday night after a massive explosion rocked a house at a village Maidanpora in Lolab area of the district, a police spokesman said.
The militants have been identified as Saqib alias Sohail, LeT’s divisional commander for North Kashmir, Hamad alias Haneef, divisional commander for Kupwara and Qari Saifullah, divisional commander for Central Kashmir, he said.
The militants were killed in the encounter which began early Friday. Charred bodies of the ultras were recovered from the debris of the house where they were hiding at the village. Five AK-47 rifles have also been recovered from the scene of the encounter.
The other two militants killed in the encounter are Chotta Saad, battalion commander of LeT and Umair alias Hafiz, the spokesman said.
Saqib, who was responsible for the killing of a policeman in Sopore earlier this month, is considered a backbone of LeT in Lolab and had been active since 2009. Hamad was one of the most wanted militants in North Kashmir and was active since 2008. He was injured in an army operation in December. Qari Saifullah was active in Ganderal and Harwan areas of central Kashmir.
According to sources, the militants were holding a meeting in the house to plan future strikes on security installations in Kashmir valley.