Pulwama Encounter: 2 terrorists, including top LeT commander Waseem Shah have been killed today
Top Lashkar-e-Taiba or LeT commander Waseem Shah is among two terrorist who have been killed in a gunfight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district today. 23-year-old Waseem Shah was the main strategist who planned last year's unrest in south Kashmir. He also went by the name 'Abu Osama'.
Security forces launched an operation early in the morning today after receiving specific intelligence inputs about the presence of terrorists in Litter village in Pulwama district. The area of the encounter has been cordoned off, Jammu and Kashmir police said.
The encounter broke out after the terrorists fired at the approaching security personnel. Two terrorists -- Waseem Shah and Nisar Ahmed Mir -- have been killed and the security forces have recovered an AK-47 and an AK-56 along with 6 Avtomat Kalashnikova or AK magazines. Today's encounter in Pulwama's Litter area was the first counter-insurgency operation in the village in four years.
The Jammu and Kashmir police, along with security agencies, had been keeping a track of Waseem Shah's movements. He had recently been operating from Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian and Pulwama districts, which see a high degree of unrest.
The Lashkar commander, along with his bodyguard Nisar Ahmed Mir tried to run away from the security forces, but could not breach the strong security cordon comprising the CRPF and Indian Army.
A college dropout, Waseem Shah, was a resident of Heff-Shrimal in Shopian district. He joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2014. He was an active Lashkar supporter since his school days, when he used to help the terror group by delivering packages and couriers for them. His father Gul Mohammed Shah runs a fruit business. Nisar Ahmed Mir, who was killed along with Shah today, joined the LeT in May 2017.
Waseem Shah, who was responsible for recruiting young people to join the LeT, had been carrying a Rs 10 lakh cash reward on his head. Apart from being the "chief architect" of last years unrest in south Kashmir, the top LeT commander had planned several attacks on security forces.
Clashes broke out between security forces and sympathisers of LeT commander Waseem Shah shortly after the anti-terror operation. One civilian has died due to the clashes in which security forces were forced to open fire. Several others are injured.
Pulwama and Shopian districts have seen a rise in unrest after terrorists have been killed during anti-terror operations. Terror groups like Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba have been carrying out recruitment operations in these districts by disillusioning the youth.(With inputs from PTI)