Two terrorists have been killed in an encounter with security forces in Katapora area of Kulgam in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. The Hizbul Mujahideen district commander is believed to be among the trapped terrorists. Acting on specific information about the presence of terrorists in the Katpora area of Yaripora in the south Kashmir district, security forces launched a cordon and search operation there in the evening, a police official said. He said the search operation turned into an encounter after the terrorists fired upon the forces.
Police sources said one of the terrorists killed in the encounter could be Zeenat Ul Islam, the longest surviving militant active since 2015 in Valley. He is among the top most wanted terrorists in the Valley. He had joined Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2015 and then joined the Hizbul Mujahideen. Now, he is the commander of Al Badr, which is a terrorist group operating in the Jammu Kashmir region. The group was allegedly formed by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence in June 1998. It is believed the group was encouraged by the ISI to operate independently from its previous umbrella group, Hizbul Mujahideen.
In a statement, the J&K police said as the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the terrorists. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight. "In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were killed and the bodies were recovered from the site of encounter. Their identities and affiliations are being ascertained," it said.
The police added that there was no collateral damage took place during the encounter. The Police have registered a case and initiated an investigation into the matter. "Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of encounter.
Citizens are requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive material. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any," the statement added.