Two militants were today killed in an encounter in Pulwama district but a top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander and four other ultras managed to flee from the cordon as local residents allegedly diverted the attention of security forces by pelting stones at them.
According to intelligence inputs, LeT’s Kashmir chief Abu Dujana was among those who managed to escape from the encounter site, a police official said.
The encounter broke out as security forces were conducting search operations in Puchal area of Awantipora when firing shots were heard from nearby Goripora village, the official said.
He said reinforcements were immediately rushed to Goripora and a cordon was laid around village to prevent the militants from fleeing.
The militants fired towards the security forces’ positions, which was retaliated leading to fierce exchange of gunfire, the official said.
Two militants were killed in the exchange of firing but five of their accomplices managed to escape, the official said adding the bodies of the slain ultras have been recovered.
As the security forces were battling the militants, a group of local residents started pelting stones at the personnel of law enforcing agencies, the official said.
The diversion in attention of the security forces caused by the stone-pelting incident allowed the other militants to escape from the cordon, the official said.
Dujana took over operational command of Lashkar following the killing of Abu Qasim in Kulgam area of south Kashmir in October last year.