Kashmir, 12/3: Four militants, two each from Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) were killed in three separate overnight gun battles with security forces across Kashmir on Saturday.
One militant was also arrested live from one of the encounter spots, police said.
Kashmir police chief Vijay Kumar said two JeM militants were killed in an overnight gunfight in Chewaklan area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
In separate gunfights, one LeT militant each was killed in Serch area of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal and Nechama, Rajwar area of Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara, he said.
A police spokesperson said the gun battles broke out after security forces launched operations at 4-5 locations across the valley on Friday night. “Encounters are over in Pulwama and Handwara while operation at Ganderbal is going on,” he said.
The latest encounters came two days after three militants, including a Pakistani, were killed in two separate gun battles in Pulwama and Srinagar. Two sarpanches (Panchayat members) were also shot dead in southern Kulgam district in the last three days by the militants.
Following a brief lull, there has been a surge in violence in Kashmir in March, leading to the killing of five civilians, the highest figure for this year.
The new year had started with a surge in encounters between militants and security forces with on average one militant killed almost every day in January. However, the encounters and civilian killings waned in February with only five encounters reported in which two soldiers, seven militants, a police official and a civilian were killed.
Police and the Army believe that most of the attacks against security personnel and civilians in Kashmir are being carried out by hybrid militants, who are not listed as militants, but radicalized and trained enough to carry out terror attacks and then slip back into the routine life.
Most of them are teenagers and highly motivated, and they do not cross the border for arms training nor do they go underground to commit violent acts. The word “hybrid” first emerged after militants believed to be affiliated with The Resistance Front (TRF), an affiliate of Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT), killed two non-Muslim teachers inside the premises of a government school in Srinagar on October 7 last year.