SRINAGAR: Three Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists, including the suspected mastermind of the the February 14 terror attack on CRPF convoy that killed 49 jawans, were killed in a fierce 18-hour encounter in which an Army Major and four other security personnel, including a policeman, and a civilian lost their lives in south Kashmir’s Pulwama on Monday.
The police said that its head-constable Abdur Rashid and civilian Mushtaq Ahmed Butt were also killed in the firefight that started during a cordon-and-search operation that forced trapped terrorists to fire at the Army party during the intervening night of Sunday and Monday, 12 km from Thursday’s audacious attack on CRPF personnel.
After gunning down two militants, the security forces torched a couple of residential houses in their final assault on their third accomplice as he was changing his position between the cluster of houses, making it difficult for the former to neutralise him. However, an Army officer said that the houses caught fire in the gunbattle.
Besides the five casualties suffered by the security forces, the encounter resulted in injuries to deputy inspector general of police (South Kashmir) Amit Kumar, a brigadier, a Lt. Colonel, a major and four other ranks of the Army unit.