BANDIPORA: Two Lashkar-e-Taiba commanders and the nephew of the Mumbai terror attacks plotter Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi were among the six terrorists killed in a massive operation carried out by security forces in north Kashmir's Bandipora district on Saturday evening, a senior police officer said.
An Air Force commando, who was part of the joint team, however, lost his life in the operation. Another soldier is reported to be injured.
"All of the terrorists neutralised today were Pakistanis," Jammu and Kashmir police chief SP Vaid said, calling the encounter "a huge success" for security forces.
Around 170 terrorists have been killed in gunfights with security forces this year.
One of the six was Owaid, nephew of Lashkar's operations commander and plotter of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Owaid is also the son of Abdul Rehman Makki, the second-in-command of terror outfit Jamat-ud-Dawah. Makki is Hafiz Saeed's second in command of the terror outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa which claims to be a social and welfare outfit. Saeed is also the co-founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Two Lashkar commanders -- Zargam and Mehmood Bye -- were also eliminated in this operation.
Troopers of the army's Rashtriya Rifles, the state police's anti-terror squad and the Central Reserve Police Force had surrounded Chandergeer village in Bandipora district's Hajin area, following specific information about the presence of terrorists there.
It is a big setback for the terrorists, a senior police officer said, pointing that the same area had witnessed a series of attacks on security forces by terrorists. It was also in this neighbourhood that two soldiers from the Air Force's commando squad, Garud, had lost their lives last month.
The Air Force had recently started attaching its Garud commandos with the army in Kashmir to give them "live situation training".
On Saturday, army spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said as the cordon around the hiding terrorists was tightened, they fired at the security forces triggering an encounter.