Terror groups in the Valley suffered a major setback as 11 terrorists were gunned down in counter-insurgency operations in three different areas in South Kashmir in which three Army jawans and two civilians were also killed.
At a hurriedly called joint press conference of army, police and CRPF, Jammu and Kashmir Police chief S P Vaid said this is one of the biggest counter-offensives in recent times against terror groups operating in the Kashmir Valley.
The operations by security forces rendered a severe dent to militant groups such as the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Lashker-e-Taiba, officials said here.
Three army jawans have lost their lives in the operations at Kachdooru in Shopian, officials said, adding three bodies of militants have been recovered from the debris so far.
The operation has been called off at Kachdooru and the security personnel were search the debris tomorrow again, the officials said.
Earlier, at a press conference called at Victor Force headquarters at Awantipura, around 33 kms from here, Corps Commander of XV Corps, Lt Gen A K Bhatt, termed it one of the biggest operations in recent times and said the death of Lt Umar Fayaz, who was brutally killed in Shopian last year, had been avenged.
Fayaz, 22, was killed by militants in May last year. His body was found with bullet wounds in the Hermain area of Shopian district in south Kashmir.
The DGP also made a special mention of an SSP's efforts to convince a militant to surrender during the Dialgam encounter.
"I would like to make a special mention about the Dialgam encounter where our Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) made a special effort, which is unheard of in any part of the world.
"He called the family members of one of the terrorists. They spoke with him for 30 minutes, to convince him to surrender," the officer said.
"Unfortunately, he did not heed the advice of his family. During the talks, the district SSP tried to get him over. Instead he fired on the police leaving the police with no option other than to retaliate. He was killed. The other one was caught alive," he said.
On the ongoing operations at Kachedoora, the DGP said there was information about the presence of four to five militants, but "we will be able to give a clear picture only after the debris is cleared".
One civilian death was reported from Draggad and the other at Kachudoora, both in Shopian district, the police chief said.
The DGP said that all the seven militants killed in the Draggad encounter were locals and their bodies have been claimed by their families.
It was painful to see young boys getting killed in this manner, the DGP said.
"I urge all the parents to appeal to their children to shun the path of violence and join the national mainstream," Vaid said.