Two suspected militants were killed in a gunfight in India-administered Kashmir on Saturday.
Wasim Shah, a local commander of the Islamic Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group was one of the two rebels killed, police sources said.
Security forces launched an early morning operation after receiving intelligence input that the rebels were present in Litter village of Pulwama district of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state.
As a team of police and the army surrounded the village, they were fired upon by the terrorists and the two militants were killed as the forces returned fire.
Shah, a college drop-out, was responsible for recruiting young people to join the Lashkar-e-Taiba, police sources said. He was also called Abu Osama.
As news of the militants’ death spread, people from adjoining villages gathered in large numbers and pelted stones at security forces.
The security forces were forced to fire teargas shells, pellet guns and open fire to disperse the protesters, with one civilian dying, police said. At least a dozen protestors were injured, Times Now news channel reported.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Muslim-majority Kashmir, which has been gripped by a violent secessionist movement against New Delhi’s rule since the 1980s leaving more than 44,000 militants, security forces personnel and civilians dead.
India claims Pakistan supports and encourages rebels and separatist leaders, but Islamabad denies the charge and calls them freedom fighters.
The disputed Kashmir region is divided into two parts: one administered by India and the other by Pakistan.(dpa/NAN)