Srinagar: In a major achievement, the security forces on Monday gunned down two Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The two slain terrorists included Abdul Rasheed Ghazi alias Kamran — the Jaish-e-Mohammed commander who masterminded the February 14 terror attack which left 40 CRPF personnel dead.
Four security personnel, including an Army Major, were also killed in the encounter, which broke out in the Pinglena area on the intervening night of February 17 and 18. Also, a civilian was also reportedly killed in the encounter.
According to reports, along with Ghazi, a local Jaish terrorist Hilal has been neutralised in the encounter.
Abdul Rashid Ghazi, an IED expert and trusted lieutenant of Masood Azhar, planned and executed the Pulwama terror attack. However, there is no confirmation yet on Ghazi’s killing.
According to sources, Ghazi trained Adil Ahmed Dar – the suicide bomber who carried out the dastardly attack last Thursday. Also, they provided explosives and specific inputs about the movement of the CRPF contingent in Jammu and Kashmir’s Lethpora area.
The four Army jawans, injured in the encounter which broke out on the intervening night of February 17 and 18, succumbed to their injuries on Monday morning. Also, a civilian was also reportedly killed in the encounter.
The martyred security personnel belonged to the 55 Rashtriya Rifles. They haven been identified as Major VS Dhoundiyal, Havaldar Sheo Ram, Sepoy Ajay Kumar and Sepoy Hari Singh.
The gunfight started late on Sunday after security forces, including the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operations Group (SOG) of the state police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), surrounded the village following a tip off that Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants — the same group that carried out the February 14 attack leaving a toll 49 troopers — were hiding in the area.
The encounter had stopped on Monday morning, but resumed after terrorists opened fire on the security forces during the search operation.
The deaths of the four jawans takes the death toll of security personnel to 45 in the last four days.
The gunfight between the terrorists and security forces comes four days after a suicide bomber, belonging to the Jaish-e-Moahmmed, rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into one of the vans of a CRPF convoy at the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, killing at least 40 jawans.