Militant involved with attack on Amarnath yatris killed in encounter

RSTV Bureau

A Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant involved with the July 10 attack on Amarnath pilgrims was killed in an encounter with security forces in Pulwama district of Kashmir.

The militant identified as Umar from Pakistan was part of the Abu Ismail group of Kashmir, which is behind the July 10 attack on Amarnath pilgrims that left eight devotees dead and several others injured, a police official said.

The official said that security forces launched a cordon and search operation in village Samboora late last night following information about the presence of militants there.

Baltal:  Pilgrims cross mountain trails during their religious journey to the Amarnath cave on the Baltal route, some 125 kms away from Srinagar on Saturday. PTI Photo

Baltal: Pilgrims cross mountain trails during their religious journey to the Amarnath cave on the Baltal route, some 125 kms away from Srinagar on Saturday. PTI Photo

The search party of forces was fired upon by militants triggering a gunbattle, the official said.

One militant was killed in the encounter, he said.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Police on Sunday said three people, alleged conspirators in the July 10 attack on Amarnath pilgrims, have been arrested by its Special Investigation Team (SIT).

The men provided logistical help to four Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) militants who carried out the attack that left eight people dead, IGP Munir Khan told the media here.

The men, who had allegedly helped the four terrorists by providing them with vehicles and shelter, were arrested recently and taken into remand for further questioning, the police said.

Anantnag: Security person stand guard after  militants opened fire on the Amarnath Yatra in which some pilgrims  were killed in Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir on July 11,2017.  PTI Photo

Anantnag: Security person stand guard after militants opened fire on the Amarnath Yatra in which some pilgrims were killed in Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir on July 11,2017. PTI Photo

The police said the four LeT militants, led by Abu Ismail, a Pakistani national, had attempted an attack on Amarnath pilgrims on July 9, but were frustrated by heavy security arrangements.

Another militant in the group of four had been identified as Yawar, a local recruiter for the LeT, the police said. Efforts are on to identify the other two, believed to be Pakistanis.

The police also released pictures of Abu Ismail and Yawar.

The three “co-conspirators”– Bilal Ahmed Reshi, Aizaj Wagey and Zahoor Ahmed –had carried out reconnaissance exercises and chosen Botengo near Khanbal as the spot where the attack could be carried out, the police added.

The trio had also provided shelter to the four militants in Khudwani and Sriguffwara of South Kashmir, Khan said.

Bilal’s elder brother Adil, an alleged Lashker-e-Taiba terrorist, was killed by security forces earlier this year.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police had constituted a SIT led by Deputy Inspector General (South Kashmir) Swayam Prakash Pani to probe the attack on the pilgrims.

Eight people were killed when the militants fired at a bus carrying the pilgrims, returning from their Amarnath yatra