Srinagar, Mar 17 (UNI) An army Lt Colonel and a soldier laid down their lives to kill a top commander of Pakistan based Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) and save their colleagues in north Kashmir.
An official spokesman a joint operation was launched by 22 Rashtriya Rifles, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police after a tip off that a top commander of LeT was hiding at Sopore, about 55 km from here in north Kashmir district of Baramulla yesterday afternoon.
Lt Colonel Kadam, leading the operation ordered the forces to cordon off the entire area so that militants do not escape.
However, when the troops were zero in a particular area, militants opened fire, resulting in injuries to three security pesonnel.
Risking his life, the injured Lt Colonel Kadam returned the fire on a militant who entered a house.
When the officer stormed the house and killed the militant, he received another bullet which proved fatal.
He said the slain militant was later identified Hafiz Nasir alias Hamza alias Haider, self styled Chief Operational Commander of LeT.
One more soldier Pradeep Kumar also succumbed to injuries, he said.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG), police for north Kashmir said the slain LeT commander was active in the valley since 1998 and was the main co-coordinator of LeT outfit.
He was also brain behind militant strikes and fidayeen attack in the Srinagar city.
He said Hamza use to coordinate militants from North, Central and South Kashmir and had been tasked to disrupt the coming elections.
The DIG said as per initial investigations, it is believed that the slain militant had played his role in the killings of 8 innocent persons since November 2007 in Sopore areas.
An AK-47 rifle and some arms and ammunition have been recovered from the slain militant.
UNI BAS SY DS1350