Journal : Xinhua (English) Date : Author : NA Page No. : NA

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) — A militant commander belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and his two associates were killed Saturday in a gunfight with troops in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said.

The gunfight broke out Friday night in village Dardpora-Lolpora of frontier Kupwara district, about 110 km northwest of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

“We have been able to kill all the three militants in gunfight in Kupwara today,” Indian military spokesman Col N N Joshi told Xinhua.

“The area was cordoned off last night and during the overnight stand-off, one militant was killed and subsequently today evening the remaining two were gunned down, taking toll to three,” he added.

Police officials said troops had information about presence of three militants in the area.

Initial reports had suggested that two militants had managed to escape from the spot as no exchange was reported until late afternoon.

“The remaining two militants were located inside a house, and after a fierce exchange they were killed,” a police official said.

Reports said the house, where the militants had taken refuge, has been damaged due to heavy firing.

The slain militants were said to be associated with LeT.

Though the commander was identified as Abu Usama Zarar, a non-local militant, identities of the other two were being ascertained.

LeT outfit is accused of carrying out a terror attack on India’s financial capital Mumbai in 2008. The attack claimed 166 lives.

On Tuesday a militant was killed in southern district of Anantnag during a gunfight.

A guerilla war is going on between militants and Indian troops stationed in Indian- controlled Kashmir since 1989. Gunfights between the two sides take place intermittently across the region.

Kashmir, the Himalayan region divided between India and Pakistan, is claimed by both in full. Since their independence from Britain, the two countries have fought three wars, two exclusively over Kashmir.

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