Two top LeT militants, jawan killed in Doda
19 November 2005
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Jammu: Two militants including a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) section commander and a foreign mercenary were killed in an encounter at village Kither, Bunjwa in Patnazi area of Kishtwar tehsil in Doda district this morning. An Army jawan also lost his life in the two hour long gun-battle. In other incidents, security forces destroyed two hide- outs of the militants in Rajouri and Poonch districts. SSP Doda Prithvi Raj Manhas said Army and police personnel launched a search operation at Kither, Bunjwa in Patnazi area yesterday after developing an information that two to three top Lashkar militants had been moving in the area. Security forces had to trek for more than four hours to reach the forests where the militants had taken shelter in a dhok. A contact with the militants was established at 9.30 am today. A heavy exchange of gun-fighting between the two sides continued for two hours in which two Lashkar militants were eliminated. An Army jawan Sharawan Kumar also sacrificed his life while fighting bravely during the exchange of firing. Possibility of one militant having managed to escape during the gun-battle was not ruled out. Army and police jawans continued searches in the area till late this afternoon. Slain militants have been identified as Abu Mansoor, a Pakistan and Ismayil, a local resident of Patnazi and a section commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba. Recoveries made from their possession include two AK rifles, two magazines, seven grenades, one wireless set, two kg explosives and a large quantity of ammunition, official sources said. The dhok, where the militants had taken shelter, was destroyed in the operation. Sources said bodies of militants and Army jawan are being brought to a police post, which had a four hour walking distance from the scene of encounter. Body of the jawan will be sent to his home town tomorrow, they added. Both LeT militants were active in Kishtwar for last more than two and a half years and were involved in a series of militant activities. Meanwhile, security forces today recovered a consignment of arms and explosives from village Draj in Budhal area of Rajouri district. Recoveries include two kg RDX, one Chinese hand grenade, two AK magazine and 19 rounds. In another search operation in Noorpur area of Mandi in Poonch district, security forces recovered three AK magazines and 90 rounds. No arrests were made from the two hide-outs which were smashed during the searches.