LeT commander, aide killed in Pulwama encounter

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A top Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) militant Waseem Shah, along with an accomplice, was killed in a fire-fight with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's southern Pulwama district on Saturday.

The encounter took place in the Litter village in Pulwama. This is the main counter-uprising operation in Litter range in four years.

Shah was a native of Heff-Shrimal in Shopian, who joined the terrorist wing in 2014 and was considered as the "chief draftsman" of a year ago's turmoil in different parts of South Kashmir after the death of LeT commander Burhan Wani. When they received intel about presence of terrorists in Litter, RR, CRPF and SOG launched a joint operation. "The militants opened fire at the search party and Shah who was known also as "Abu Osama Bhai" and Mir were killed in the ensuing gun battle", the officials. A resident of Shopian, he was on the army most wanted list of 12 militants.

Born in a middle class family of Gul Mohammed Shah, who ran his fruit business, Shah was an active supporter of Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group since his school days and had doubled up as a courier boy for the outfit, police said.

Of late, Shah, who carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, was recruiting fresh cadres for the militant outfit.

The security forces fired bullets, pellets and teargas shells to disperse the protesters, injuring dozens. Meanwhile, a civilian was killed as stone- pelting protestors clashed with security personnel near an encounter site on Saturday. "Well done JKP boys and other SF (security forces)", he tweeted. They were eventually gunned down by the security forces, IG Munir Khan said. One of the critically injured Gulzar Ahmad Mir was rushed to the SMHS Hospital in Srinagar but he succumbed to his injuries.