Bandipora encounter: 5 militants gunned down, IAF Garud commando killed

Representational image. Security forces launched a search operation in Chandergeer village in Hajin area of the district after receiving specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in the area a police official said

The security forces on Saturday gunned down five terrorists during an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora area, said reports.

Indian troops cordoned off northern Hajin village on a tip that militants were hiding in civilian homes, said top police officer S.P. Vaid.

At least five militants and an air force commando were killed and another soldier was wounded in the fighting, he said, adding that at least one militant was still trapped in the area. One of the terrorists killed in the encounter is Owaid, nephew of 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi.

The Garud Commando Force is the special forces unit of the Indian Air Force (IAF). Another soldier was injured in the operation. "Weapons and ammunition recovered". Total of 6 LeT militants eliminated.

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Earlier in the day, large number of people defied curfew-like restrictions, imposed by the authorities, to attend the funeral of slain militant Mugees Ahmad Mir.

Hajin has witnessed several encounters between militants and security forces in the last one year.

Authorities had imposed curfew in parts of Srinagar on Saturday as a precautionary measure following killing of an Al-Qaeda terrorist Mugees Mir in a shootout with the police on Friday evening. "During the prolonged gunfight, six terrorists were killed", Srinagar-based defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said. Sources said the group had killed a border security force trooper in the region.

The encounter broke out in Hajin area of Bandipora. Lakhvi is among the three globally prosecuted terrorists named by India (Hafiz Saeed and Dawood Ibrahim being the other two) and the European Union in their joint statement to combat terrorism.

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