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"Top Terrorist Commander Trapped, Encounter On", Says J&K Police

Top Terrorist Commander Trapped, Encounter On, Says J&K Police

Srinagar: A top terrorist commander has been pinned down by security forces conducting an anti-terrorist operation in Jammu and Kashmir's Awantipora area.

According to a J&K Police spokesperson the operation was launched late Tuesday night and heavy firing is currently going on as security forces target the house in which the terrorist commander is believed to be hiding. Sources have said the terrorist is a high-ranking commander of terror group Hizbul Mujahideen and one of Kashmir's most wanted.

Sources have also said the commander and an accomplice have both been killed but officials have refused to confirm this. However, soon after the encounter started, mobile internet service was suspended in all 10 districts of Kashmir Valley.

"Contact established in the third operation at Awantipur. Top terrorist commander is trapped. Exchange of fire on. Details shall follow," J&K Police tweeted at 9.07 am. Minutes earlier the police tweeted: "Third operation launched by Awantipur Police last night on a specific input too is in progress at Beigpora Awantipora. Senior officers monitoring since last night".

According to police the terrorist being targeted is a key figure in recruiting locals into terrorism and is also involved in a number of others cases, including the killing of special police officers and threating J&K Police officials into resignation.

In 2018 terror threats and attacks on SPOs (special police officers) led to a number of resignations, as well as those of police officers in violence-hit Shopian and Pulwama districts.

The real threat comes from foreign terror outfits like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed.

Over the past month at least 22 members of the country's security forces, including army officers, have been killed in the Kashmir Valley. This sudden spike in encounters, coming amid reports of infiltration by highly-trained terrorists from Pakistan, poses a major security challenge even as the country fights the COVID-19 crisis.

On Sunday two senior Army officers - a colonel and a major - were among five security personnel killed in action during an encounter in J&K's Kupwara district. A sub-inspector and two soldiers also lost their lives. On Monday, there was an attack on a CRPF (central reserve police force) team in the same area that led to three personnel being killed.

J&K Police have said that three separate anti-militancy operations have been launched in the south Kashmir area. This morning one terrorist was killed during a joint operation by the Army and police.

(Inputs and image from ndtv.com)

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