The five militants killed in an encounter yesterday in Kupwara district of north Kashmir were all foreigners and belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba, the army said today.
“The weapons and other equipment we recovered from them (imply) they were from Lashkar (e-Toiba),” General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lt Gen Satish Dua, told reporters here.
The army commander was addressing media after paying floral tributes to the two jawans who were also killed in the encounter.
However, it is being ascertained whether the group of militants had infiltrated recently, the GOC said.
“Whether it was a new group or not, that is being ascertained. Once the analysis of the equipment takes place, only then we will be able to tell,” he said.
The force is getting intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in the area, the army commander said.
“We are getting intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in the area and we launch the operations along with other security forces on that basis,” he said.
Replying to queries, he said there was hardlly any presence of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad in Kashmir as of now.
“JeM’s top leader Adil Pathan was eliminated in November last year. Since then there is no presence of JeM in the Valley. Perhaps one or two (militants) in north Kashmir.
“JeM tried attacks twice last year in Tangdhar. But they were eliminated on both the occasions,” he said.
Five militants were killed in an encounter which began on Friday in Zonreshi Village, Chowkibal of Kupwara district. Two army soldiers also lost their lives. The encounter followed a search operation launched by the army after it received information about presence of some terrorists there.
Four army personnel including a Major, who were injured in the operation, are undergoing treatment in a military hospital in Drugmulla, the army said.