Pak Militant Gunned Down In Surankote
7 July 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: A Pakistani militant of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was killed inside a house while his two body-guards escaped during an encounter with troops of Rashtriya Rifles at village Dandian in Bafliaz area of Surankote tehsil in Poonch district as security personnel foiled a militants' plot to target Buddha Amarnath yatris in the same district by effecting recovery of a consignment of explosives. SSP Poonch Jagjit Kumar said the Rashtriya Rifles jawans and police launched a search operation in Dandian at 12 noon today after developing an information that top LeT militant Abu Haider Zarar had taken shelter in the house of Riyasat Khan son of Said Khan at Dandian, Bafliaz, along with his two associates. Troops cordoned off the house and evacuated civilians tactfully. Later, a heavy exchange of gunfighting took place between the two sides in which Zarar, a Pakistan ultra operating in Surankote for last three years, was gunned down by the Army personnel. Two body-guards of Zarar, said to be locals, managed to escape during the cross-firing. One of them was injured in the encounter. Troops continued searches to apprehend them. Recoveries made from the scene of encounter included one AK-46 rifle, two magazines, one radio set, two grenades and some incriminating documents. House of Riyasat Khan was damaged in the encounter, sources said. Foiling a plan by militants to target Buddha Amarnath yatra in Poonch district, beginning August 17 and scheduled to continue for about one week, Army, BSF and police, in a joint operation, today recovered a huge arms and explosive dump on the shrine track, sources said. On a tip-off, security personnel and police busted a hide-out en route the shrine in Markote area of Palera, Mandi belt in Poonch and recovered the arms and explosives. The recoveries included five Chinese pistols, eight kg of high-grade explosives, two Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) grenades, 7 Chinese hand-grenades, one anti-tank grenade, 10 Chinese pistol magazines, 325 AK rounds and three Improvised Explosive Devices. However, no one was arrested in this connection. With the recovery of arms and explosives, security forces have foiled a plan to target Buddha Amarnath pilgrimage, sources said. Based on specific information, security forces also launched search operations in Kuliyan, east of Thanna Mandi, in Rajouri district and recovered a cache of arms, they said adding, the recoveries included one sniper rifle, three Chinese hand-grenades and assorted ammunition. In another incident, police seized some arms and ammunition near the Line of Control in Peer Badesar area of the same district. Recoveries include one AK rifle, two pistols, two hand-grenades, 14 magazines and 2,136 rounds of ammunition.