Srinagar, Oct 14: Top Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist Waseem Shah has been gunned down along with his accomplice in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday.  24-year-old Shah known as ‘Abu Osama Bhai’ was killed at Litter area in Pulwama, a place considered to be a safe haven for militants. The second terrorist, who was killed in the encounter was identified as Nisar Ahmed.

This is the first counter-insurgency operation in Litter area in four years. If reports are to be believed, Shah was the main architect of unrest last year in south Kashmir.

The Jammu and Kashmir police has been tracking the movements of Shah, who is considered as the ‘don of Heff’, another traditional stronghold of militants in South Kashmir’s Shopian district. As per the reports, the terrorists were planning an attack on the security forces. They were found at a hideout at Litter and police and its special operation group team cordoned off the area.

The fierce gun battle started this morning after security forces received specific intelligence inputs about the presence of terrorists in the Litter village of Pulwama. Talking to ANI, J&K DGP SP Vaid said,”Terrorist Wasim Shah was involved in many cases and recruitment, his elimination is a huge success.”

Addressing media after the encounter, IG Munir Khan said,”Operation was launched by Police, Army and CRPF after specific info was received about presence of 2 LeT terrorists. Of the 2 terrorists Wasim Shah was very notorious and his elimination was a big success as he used to recruit cadre for LeT.”

“Both the terrorists were first asked to surrender but instead they started firing, troops retaliated and gunned them down. One civilian died and another got injured in cross fire,” Khan added.

On Friday night, the security forces had launched a cordon and search operation (CASO) after gunshots were heard in the Tral forest area of Pulwama.  Earlier on Monday, three Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorists were killed in a gunbattle with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district.