Three Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists, including a Pakistani commander of the group being investigated for his role in the February 14 CRPF bombing, were killed in a gunbattle in Pulwama district on Monday.
In the encounter, the Indian security forces lost five jawans, including an Army Major.
The gun battle took place in Pulwama’s Pinglan area, about 12 km from the spot where a suicide bomber from the Jaish-e-Mohammed drove his explosives-laden vehicle into a CRPF bus last week, killing 40 jawans and critically wounding five.
The encounter claimed the lives five Army personnel, three Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists and a civilian, officials said.
The slain terrorists were identified as Kamran, a Pakistani national and top commander of the Jaish, and Hilal Ahmad, a local recruited by the terror group, they said.
“Kamraan’s role in the February 14 suicide bombing of a CRPF convoy was under the scanner of investigators,” a senior police official said.
The slain soldiers are Major V S Dhondial, Havaldar Sheo Ram and Sepoys Hari Singh and Ajay Kumar.
Security forces launched a cordon and search operation during the night after receiving inputs about the presence of militants in the area, a police official recounted.
Militants fired at forces as the searches got underway, triggering a gun battle, officials said.
The Jaish has claimed responsibility for the February 14 terror attack that targeted a convoy of 78 vehicles on its way from Jammu to Srinagar. About 2,500 CRPF personnel were on their way to the Valley, many returning to work after leave.