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Pti

A Pakistani Lashkar-e Taiba (LeT) militant wanted in many terror cases including the killing of two policemen in Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora district recently was gunned down in an encounter with security forces in the Harwan area here on Sunday, police said.

A cordon and search operation was launched by the security forces in the Theed Harwan area of Srinagar based on specific input about the presence of a terrorist there, they said.

When the presence of the trapped terrorist was ascertained during the search operation in the morning, he was given ample opportunities to surrender. However, he fired indiscriminately upon the joint search party, which was retaliated leading to an encounter, a police spokesman said.

In the ensuing gunfight, the terrorist was killed and his body retrieved from the encounter site, he said.

The spokesman identified the slain militant as Safiulla alias Abu Khalid alias Shawaz, a resident of Karachi in Pakistan.

As per police records, the killed terrorist was a categorised terrorist linked with proscribed terror outfit LeT.

He had infiltrated in 2016 via Bandipora Sector and later on sneaked into Srinagar on the directions of Pakistan-based commanders of LeT for intensifying terrorist-related activities in the districts of Pulwama, Srinagar, Ganderbal and Budgam, the spokesman said.

He said Saifulla was working as a Group Commander of the LeT in Srinagar as he had operated in the city earlier. He was familiar with Srinagar's topography as well as that of Pulwama.

He was also involved in receiving new groups of FTs (foreign terrorists) after infiltration, the spokesman said.

As per police records, the militant was wanted by law for his complicity in terror crime cases, including attacks on police and security forces and civilian killings.

He was involved in an attack on a police party at Gulshan Chowk in Bandipora on December 10, in which two police personnel were killed.

Saifulla, along with his associates, was involved in an attack on an Army convoy on national highway Bemina Bye-pass near SKIMS Hospital in Srinagar on April 1, 2017, resulting in injuries to three soldiers, the spokesman said.

He was also the mastermind behind the attack carried out by his associates at Lawaypora, Srinagar in which two security forces personnel were martyred and one AK-47 rifle was also snatched. Besides, attacks on police/SFs he was also involved in civilian killings, including killing of then Bandipora BJP president Waseem Bari, his brother and father in July 2020, the spokesman added.

He said Saifulla was also a mastermind behind the revival of terror folds by luring the gullible youth into militancy.

He was also instrumental in reactivation of hardcore terrorist associates of LeT outfit in the areas of Srinagar and Pulwama and police district Awantipora, the spokesman said.

Incriminating material, arms and ammunition, including an AK-47 rifle, three magazines and a grenade, were recovered from the site of the encounter, he said, adding they were taken into case records for further investigation.

IGP, Kashmir, Vijay Kumar congratulated the joint team of the security forces for conducting a successful operation without any collateral damage.

Kumar said with the elimination of Saifulla, three Pakistani terrorists have been killed within a month in Srinagar.

He said the terrorists were involved in several attacks on police, security forces and civilians, which clearly show that Pakistan is hell-bent to disturb peace in Kashmir, especially in Srinagar .
 

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