SRINAGAR: Five terrorists were killed in separate operations across Kashmir since Monday. While three terrorists were slain in a gunfight in Awantipora, in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, on Tuesday, an unidentified terrorist was killed in a separate encounter in Semthan village, Bijbehara, in Anantnag district, also in south Kashmir. Meanwhile, a Pakistan-based terrorist was shot dead during a foiled infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Monday.

Those slain in the operation at Khandipora area in Awantipora — including local Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Mukhtar Bhat and another Pakistani terrorist — were planning a Fidayeen (Suicide Squad) attack on security forces in Pulwama, ADGP (Kashmir Zone) Vijay Kumar said, adding that a major tragedy had been averted. Bhat was involved in several terror crimes, including the killing of a CRPF ASI and two RPF personnel, the ADGP said.

“LeT cmdr Mukhtar Bhat among the 3 killed terrorists. As per source, he along with FT was going for fidayeen attack on SFs camp. 01 AK-74 rifle, 01 AK-56 rifle & 1 pistol recovered. Awantipora Police & Army averted a major terror incident: ADGP Kashmir (sic),” the Kashmir zone police tweeted.

In Srinagar, three hybrid terrorists were arrested with a 10kg IED bucket and two hand grenades in Rangreth area on Tuesday. The explosives were destroyed in situ by the Army’s bomb disposal squad, and a case was registered under relevant sections of the UAPA, Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act, the Kashmir zone police said in another tweet.

Police were trying to ascertain the identities and affiliations of the remaining unidentified terrorists slain in the twin anti-terror operations.

Earlier on Monday, alert troops manning the LoC foiled an infiltration bid and shot dead a Pakistani terrorist in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district less than a week after a similar attempt was thwarted and a Pakistan-based terrorist killed along the LoC in the district’s Keran sector on October 26.

Based on intelligence inputs, a joint anti-infiltration operation was launched in Kupwara’s Jumagund area, where a foreign terrorist was seen trying to cross the LoC into India. He was challenged by the security forces, leading to a brief gunfight in which the terrorist was killed, said a top official. A subsequent search of the area led to the recovery of arms and ammunition, including an AK-series rifle, the official added.