In another blow to Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, six of its militants, including a Pakistani involved in slaughtering of civilians, were killed in an encounter Sunday, along with a soldier and a civilian, in a village of South Kashmir's Shopian district, police said.
The police said that based on a credible input about the presence of terrorists in Batagund area of Kapran of Shopian district, a cordon and search operation was launched in the night jointly by the police and security forces in the area.
As the searches were going on, the miltants fired upon the search party which retaliated effectively leading to an encounter.
"Initially, one jawan of 34 RR sustained injuries in the exchange of fire. He was evacuated to the hospital and is stated to be stable now," the police said.
"Another jawan identified as Nazir Ahmad of 34 RR who was grievously injured in the final phase of the encounter has succumbed and attained martyrdom," the police added.
One militant was identified Mushtaq Ahmad Mir of Shopian who, the police said, was involved in motivating innocent youths into the terrorist fold and also demanding money from public for strengthening Lashker cadre.
The others were identified as Mohammad Abass Bhatt and Khalid Farooq Malik, from Shopian, Umar Majeed from Kulgam, Mohd Hameed Wagey and a Pakistani terrorist, Kafeel.
"It was an intelligence based operation in which six terrorists were eliminated. They were involved in gruesome killing of civilians and security forces," Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) Swayam Prakash Pani said after the encounter.
"We have been able to made a considerable dent in terror groups operating in the Valley," Pani said.
In another encounter, a Jaish-e-Moahmmed militant codenamed 'Waseem' was killed in a separate encounter with security forces at Khrew in Awantipura district of South Kashmir.
In the Shopian encounter, the Pakistani militant codenamed Kafeel was involved in the killing of a civilian who was kidnapped from Shopian and his throat was slit. The video of this gruesome act was uploaded on social networking sites.
"All the killed six terrorists were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of terror crimes, including attacks on security establishments and civilian killings in the area. With their elimination, all notorious terrorists of the belt have been successfully eliminated," the police said.
As per the police records, Mushtaq Ahmad Mir alias Hammad had a long history of terror crimes since 2014. He was a close associate of terrorist commander Zeenat-ul-Islam and was involved in several terror attacks on security establishments and civilian killings.
Mohammad Abass Bhatt was earlier convicted for a murder case and sentenced for five years.
After his release in April 2016 he joined terrorist ranks and was involved in several terror-related crimes and according to police records he was involved in the recent spate of gruesome killings of civilians in Shopian, including the decapitation of 19-years-old Huzaif Ashraf.
He was wanted for killing of young officer trainee Lt Omar Fayaz, advocate Imtiyaz Khan and four police personnel at Shopian in August this year and many other civilian killings in the area.
Umer Majid Ganai, who had escaped from Batmaloo encounter and whose photo was recently circulated on social media showing him near clock tower Lal Chowk, was involved in the killing of several policemen and civilians in the area since 2016.
He was involved in Pombai Bank guard attack case in which four policemen and two banks guards had lost their lives in 2017.
Mohd Waseem Wagay alias Saifullah was involved in several terror crimes in the area and attacks on the security establishments. He was part of a terror group involved in the killing of four police personnel in August this year at Shopian and so was Khalid Farooq.
Around the encounter site, one civilian identified as Nouman Ashraf Bhat of Bolous Kulgam succumbed to his injuries at a hospital. Four others injured are stable, the police said.