Notching another major success, security forces killed top LeT commander Ayub Lelhari on Wednesday in a gunfight in Pulwama district, days after Hizbul Mujahideen’s top commander Yasin Itoo was killed in a gunfight in Shopian.
“Ayub Lelhari District Commander LeT killed in Pulwama. Yet another success in the fight against militancy,” the state police said on its Twitter handle.
Giving details of the gunfight, police said a ‘naka’ (check post) was set up in Banderpora (Koil) village jointly by Rashtriya Rifles, state police and CRPF after receiving information about the movement of the LeT district commander in the area.
“When the vehicle in which Ayub Lalhari was travelling was signalled to stop, it tried to jump the check post, after which the LeT commander started firing at the security forces,” the police said.
“Two policemen were injured in the initial firing after which an encounter started in which Lelhari was killed,” police said.
The driver of the vehicle has been arrested.
Lelhari had been active in south Kashmir areas and had recently been designated as district commander by the LeT outfit. Police said the gunfight has ended.
On Sunday, top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Yasin Itoo was killed along with two other local militants in a 24 hour-long gunfight in Shopian district.
Yasin Itoo, alias Mehmood Ghaznavi, was the operational commander of the Hizbul. He was one of the senior-most Hizbul militants active in Kashmir and was designated divisional commander after Burhan Wani was killed last year.
On July 1, the security forces killed LeT Commander Bashir Lashkari in a gunfight in Anantnag district, along with another militant.