From January 1 to April 30 this year, nearly 55 locals have joined terrorists ranks which is a worrisome trend

Three Pakistani terrorists affiliated with Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit were killed in an encounter with security forces in north Kashmir’s frontier Kupwara district on Thursday.

“#KupwaraEncounterUpdate: From the #incriminating materials recovered, the 03 killed #terrorists have been identified as #Pakistani, affiliated with #terror outfit LeT. So far, 26 foreign terrorists (14 JeM & 12 LeT) have been neutralised this year: IGP Kashmir (sic),” Kashmir Zone Police tweeted.

Earlier, police said that an encounter broke out in Jumagund village of Kupwara after security forces foiled an infiltration bid in the area.

Sources said the slain terrorists had recently infiltrated into Kashmir from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and were being tracked down by the security forces before being neutralised in Jamagund village today.

The latest encounter comes just a day after three Pakistani terrorists and a policeman were killed in a ‘chance encounter’ between security forces and ultras in neighbouring Baramulla district on Wednesday.

While south Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian see frequent encounters between terrorists and security forces, gun battles are rare in north Kashmir where mostly Pakistani terrorists are present. Sources said that the foreign terrorists usually take shelter in the dense forest areas of north Kashmir thus avoiding the security radar.

Over 90 terrorists, including 26 Pakistanis, have been killed in various encounters with security forces in Kashmir Valley. However, sources said, from January 1 to April 30 this year, nearly 55 locals have joined terrorists ranks which is a worrisome trend.