Top LeT commander among two terrorists killed in encounter in Rajouri
Rajouri/Jammu, Nov 23 (PTI) Two terrorists, including a top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander trained in Afghanistan, were killed in a gunfight with security forces on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district, officials said.
On Wednesday, four army personnel, including two captains, were killed and two others injured in the operation against the terrorists in the Dharmsal belt's Bajimaal area. The officials said firing was halted in the night and the area was put under cordon. Firing resumed on Thursday morning, and two terrorist were killed, they said and added that the operation is in its final phase.
Earlier in the day, a defence spokesman said in the firing, a Pakistani terrorist has been killed. Later, officials said another terrorist has been eliminated.
The area was cordoned off and more security personnel were deployed in the night to ensure the terrorists do not escape from the thickly forested area, the officials said.
On the Pakistani terrorist killed, the defence spokesman said he has been identified as Quari, a Pakistan national and hardcore terrorist. 'He has been trained on the Pakistan and Afghanistan front. He is a highly ranked terrorist leader of the Lashkar-e-Taiba,' he said.
Quari, a top LeT commander, was active in Rajouri-Poonch along with his group from past one year, police said, adding that he is also believed to be mastermind of Dangri and Kandi attacks.
He was sent to revive terrorism in the region, they said. Quari was an expert in IEDs, a trained sniper and operated from caves.
The identity of the other terrorist is being verified.
The two injured army personnel -- a major and a jawan -- are admitted at the Army's Command Hospital in Udhampur.
Those who lost their lives include Captain M V Pranjal of 63 Rastriya Rifles, a resident of Karnataka, Captain Shubham of the Special Forces, resident of Agra in Uttar Pradesh, Havaldar Abdul Majid of the Special Force, a resident of Poonch in J-K, and Lance Naik Sanjay Bist of Nainital in Uttarakhand.
In a post on X, the White Knight Corps of the Army said based on specific intelligence, joint operations were launched in the Kalakote area of Gulabgarh forest in Rajouri on Sunday. 'Contact established on 22 November and intense firefight ensued. The terrorists have been injured and surrounded and operations are in progress, amidst acts of valour and sacrifice by their own brave hearts in trying to prevent collateral damage to women and children in the highest traditions of the Indian Army,' it said. The encounter in Rajouri comes close on the heels of another gunfight in Behrote in Budhal area on November 17, in which one terrorist was killed. Two earlier ambushes in the Mendhar area of Poonch and Kandi forest of Rajouri on April 20 and May 5, respectively, had claimed the lives of 10 soldiers. According to officials, 46 deaths have been recorded in terrorism-related incidents in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch and nearby Reasi district since January this year. While 23 people, including seven terrorists and nine security personnel, were killed in Rajouri, 15 terrorists and five security personnel in Poonch district. Three terrorists were killed in Reasi district. PTI COR AB AB ANB ANB
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