Search operation turns into encounter after terrorists fire upon security personnel, who retaliated

Three terrorists, including a deputy commander of banned Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), were killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday, police said.

While the deputy commander of the Pakistan-based terror group was identified as Arif Hazar alias Rehan, the identities of the other two slain terrorists are being ascertained, they said.

Based on specific inputs about the presence of terrorists in the Pahoo area of Pulwama in south Kashmir, security forces launched a search operation there, a police official said.

He said the search operation turned into an encounter after the terrorists fired upon the security personnel, who retaliated.

In the exchange of fire, three terrorists have been killed so far, the official said.

In a tweet, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said, “Arif Hazar @ Rehan, deputy of LeT’s top cmdr (Basit) killed in PulwamaEncounter. Involved in killings of Insp Parvez in front of mosque, SI Arshid & 1 mobile shop owner in downtown. Several FIRs against him in Sgr city. Identification of other 2 terrorists yet to (be) done.”