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Pakistani LeT militant killed in shootout in J-K's Hazratbal, search on for two others

Pakistani LeT militant killed in shootout in J-Ks Hazratbal, search on for two others

Srinagar: A Pakistani militant of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was killed in a brief shootout in Hazratbal area here on Thursday while a search was underway for two others who managed to flee, police said.

The trio tried to snatch weapons from the guard posted at the Hazratbal shrine on the banks of the famous Dal Lake. The shrine houses the relic of Prophet Mohammad.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said one of the militants was a Pakistani and termed his killing a "big success".

"We were monitoring him. His aim was to attack the shrine guard and snatch his weapon. He fired at the police party, which retaliated. In the firing, the Pakistani militant was killed," Kumar told reporters outside the shrine complex.

The slain ultra was identified as Manzoor alias Haider alias Hamza. He was affiliated with proscribed outfit LeT, the IGP said.

"He was an associate of top LeT/TRF commander Mehran. His killing is a big success," he said.

Kumar said Manzoor was active in Srinagar for the past six months. He was involved in several killings. A video in which he talked about attacking senior officials had gone viral.

On the two militants who fled, the IGP said, "We are tracking them. We hope to neutralise them soon."

Kumar said the militants were trying to use religious places to take shelter and stir emotions to create a law and order issue.

"His (the Pakistani militant's) aim was to enter the mosque, engage with the security forces, spread news and stir religious sentiments of the people and create a law and order problem. But we will not let them (militants) succeed in that," he said.

Asked about the recovery of the body of an Army soldier in Budgam, the IGP said the police are investigating the incident from all angles.

"We are probing both the angles, the terror-crime angle or maybe there was some fight because of personal animosity and he was murdered," Kumar said.

The soldier, Sameer Ahmad Malla, was found dead in an orchard in Kashmir Valley's Budgam on Thursday, three days after he went missing.

His body had no bullet marks but showed signs of blunt injuries, officials said.

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