Chief Of "ISIS-Inspired Group" Among 4 Terrorists Killed In Kashmir: Cops

The encounter started this morning after security officers received intelligence input about the presence of terrorists.

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The encounter is underway in Srigufwara area of Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir


Srinagar: 

Highlights

  1. A gunfight broke out this morning between security forces, terrorists
  2. Search operation turned into gunfight after terrorists fired upon forces
  3. The encounter comes days after the centre called off ceasefire
Four terrorists, including the head of a local unit inspired the global terror group ISIS, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district today, the police said. The gun-battle -- second since the ceasefire was called off in the Valley on Sunday - has also claimed the lives of a policeman and a civilian.  

Dawood Sofi, the head of the group, who was killed today, was active on social media and mostly targetted policemen on duty, said state police chief SP Vaid.

The officer, who earlier today tweeted, "Terrorists reportedly affiliated to ISJK," told NDTV, "as such there is no infrastructure of Islamic state or something like (in the Valley) but these days people do get influenced by radical material available online".  It appears that this group was "influenced by pan-Islamic ideology of ISIS... after every incident, they used to put up reports about that incident on the ISIS website," he added.

The terrorists were holed up inside a house in the south Kashmir district, the owner of which died in the crossfire. His wife has been injured.

The encounter started this morning after security officers received intelligence input about the presence of terrorists, a police officer was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. The search operation turned into a gunfight, after the terrorists opened fire on the security forces, who retaliated.  Internet services have been suspended in Srinagar and Anantnag, reported news agency ANI.

This was not the first time an ISIS-inspired module has been neutralised in Kashmir. In March, three terrorists killed in Anantnag were part of one such unit, the police said. One of the three was found to be a man from Telangana, Mohammad Toufiq.

In January, the home ministry had told Parliament there is no ISIS presence in the Valley. The ISIS flags that often make an appearance at protests are believed to be more of a provocation.

Security forces too, have ruled out the presence of organized ISIS infrastructure in Kashmir. "On ground there is a very small group led by Zakir Musa, which talks of ISIS or of ideology. Their signature on the ground is very small," said Lt Gen A K Bhatt, a senior army officer.

The cordon and search operations against terrorists -- suspended by the Centre for a month during Ramdan - had resumed after Eid.

Two days later, the government of Mehbooba Mufti collapsed as the BJP pulled out of the alliance. Under the Governor's Rule, the Centre plans to crack down on terrorists who had expanded their operations during the ceasefire. The number of terror attacks had more than doubled over the last month.

On Tuesday, three Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists were killed in Pulwama's Tral, the police said.

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