Sunday, January 18, 2015

Jammu and Kashmir: Two more Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commanders killed in a renewed offensive, this year

Two days after Jammu and Kashmir police unearthed a major nexus between militants and pro India politicians, the security forces gunned down two top Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commanders in a fierce gun-battle at apple rich town of Sopore on Sunday.

This is the fifth successful operation this year and so far eight terrorists have been eliminated and two terrorists apprehended by the security forces in the renewed offensive against the terror in Jammu and Kashmir.

What happened?

A defence spokesman at Srinagar said a joint operation was launched by police and the army following the intelligence inputs received by the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) unit about the presence of two terrorists in the Saidpura village on Saturday night. "As the noose was tightened in the morning hours, the terrorists hiding in the built up area tried to escape. On being contested by the army and special operation group personnel, terrorists opened fire. In the ensuing fire fight two terrorists were eliminated," he said.

Search of the area led to recovery two AK-47 rifles, one Pistol, ammunition, two under barrel grenade launcher (UBGL), six UBGL rounds and other war like stores.

Who were these commanders?

The slain militants have been identified as Qari Assadullah and Mohammad Ramzan of LeT, both hailing from Pakistan. Police said Assadullah infiltrated last year and was a group commander of LeT. However the defence spokesman said he was the divisional commander of LeT. Assadullah was instrumental to rope in cadres of Moulana Masood Azad led Jaish-e-Mohomad into his group. "He was active in Kupwara district earlier and had moved to Sopore area last month, and was planning to reactivate LeT base in Sopore," a police spokesman said.

Ramzan was earlier affiliated with Jaish and was a part of the 20 member-strong Jaish group in north Kashmir which had infiltrated in 2013. "A large part of that group migrated to South Kashmir and many were killed. He was one of the two remaining Jaish militants of that group in North Kashmir," said the police spokesman.

Has security forces intensified their offensive against ultras in 2015?

The stepped up offensive against militants comes in the backdrop of the reports that around 200 militants are waiting on the launch pads and terror camps on the other side of line of control (LoC) to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir. Official figures reveal there are around 14 to 15 terrorist camps South of Pir Panjal opposite Rajouri and Poonch districts in Jammu. Official figures reveal that there are more than 35 launch pads and some coordination centers active on the other side of LoC, south of Pir Panjal range.

How much success has security forces achieved in war against terror?

Last year around 102 militants were killed while 29 army men lost their lives in counter-terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir. Forty five army men were injured in these operations. Around 47 ultras were apprehended and one surrendered in 2014. Army also recovered 394 different types of weapons in different operations along the LoC and in hinterland. Army also defused 15 improvised explosive devices in 2014. Official figures reveal that there were approximately 6,800 militants of different outfits active during 1996 in the state which, however, it has now reduced to 240 and 199 in 2013 and 2014 (January) respectively.

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