Two militants, including the one of the dreaded and oldest terrorist Zeenat-ul-Islam, were killed on Saturday in an encounter with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district, police said. A resident of Sugan Zanipura area of south Kashmir’s Shopian district, Islam was associated with the terror group Al Badr and was an expert at handling Improvised explosive device (IED). He joined Lashkar-eToiba (LeT), a militant outfit operated from Pakistan in November 2015 and later switched to Al-Badr, according to reports. Zeenat was one of three terrorists surviving from Army’s list of 12 most wanted terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.
ALSO READ | Jammu and Kashmir: Two terrorists killed in Kulgam encounter
Zeenat was earlier associated with Hizbul Mujahideen, the official said. Islam had three other siblings and his father is a farmer. Zeenat ul Islam worked with his father and got married before joining LeT. He completed his Bachelors of Arts from a local college. He was imprisoned for three years and was released in 2011. Zeenat Ul Islam had been giving a slip to security forces for over two years now. His killing will greatly weaken the outfit, according to reports.
Al Badr was allegedly formed by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in June 1998. Prior to the group's separation from Hizbul Mujahideen, they participated in the fighting in Afghanistan in 1990 as part of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hizb-l-Islami (HIG) alongside other anti-Soviet Afghan Mujahadeen.
In a statement, the J&K police had said as the searches were going on, the search party was fired upon by the terrorists. The fire was retaliated leading to a gunfight. "In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were killed and the bodies were recovered from the site of encounter.
The police added that there was no collateral damage took place during the encounter. The Police have registered a case and initiated an investigation into the matter. "Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of encounter.
Citizens are requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive material. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosive materials if any," the statement added.
ALSO READ | Snowfall in Kashmir, flight operations hit at Srinagar airport
Following the gunfight, authorities have snapped internet services in the Kulgam district. The second terrorist who was killed has been identified as Shakeel Ahmad Dar alias Faisal of Chilipora, Shopian.