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Jaish militant whose car was used in Pulwama attack killed in encounter

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: June 18, 2019  | 17:12 IST

Srinagar, Jun 18 (PTI) A Jaish-e-Mohammed militant, who had provided the car used in the Pulwama attack, was killed along with his associate in an encounter with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district on Tuesday, police said. An Army soldier was also killed in the operation in Bijbehara area of the south Kashmir district in the morning, an official said. The encounter started when the militants opened fire on the security forces who were conducting a cordon-and-search operation following inputs about the presence of the ultras, the official said. "Two terrorists were killed in the operation in Bijbehara. They have been identified as Sajad Bhat and Tauseef Bhat, and were affiliated with Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group," the official said. An Army jawan was also injured in the gun battle and he succumbed to injuries at a hospital, the official said. Besides several terror crimes, the official said, Sajad Bhat was also wanted in connection with the suicide car blast in Lethpora area of Pulwama on February 14 that left 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel dead. As per the evidence collected during the investigation, it was found that the Maruti Eeco vehicle used for the blast was owned by Sajad Bhat, a resident of Marhama village in Bijbehara area. As the news of his involvement spread, Sajad Bhat escaped and joined the JeM. A picture of him carrying an AK-47 rifle was also circulated on social media, a police spokesperson said. The official added that Tauseef Bhat played a key role in recruiting Sajad Bhat to the JeM. On Monday, an Army major and a militant were killed, while another officer and two troopers injured in an encounter in Anantnag district, officials had said. On the same day in Pulwama, nine Army personnel and two civilians were injured when militants triggered a blast through an improvised explosive device (IED) fitted in a vehicle. Two of the jawans have succumbed to injuries on Tuesday, while the others are recuperating at a hospital. The site of the blast was 27 km from the area of the February 14 attack. Last Wednesday, a lone Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist attacked a patrol team of the paramilitary force in Anantnag, killing five CRPF personnel. A police officer, who had reached the site shortly after the attack, was sprayed with bullets the moment he had stepped out of his bullet-proof vehicle. He was flown to the AIIMS, Delhi, but died on Sunday. PTI MIJ HMB

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