Jammu, May 3 (UNI) A Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant, who had escaped while security forces gunned down the 'district commander' of the outfit recently, was apprehended after a brief gun-battle in Kither forests of Kishtwar district here today, sources said.
Acting on a tip-off, troops of 26 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and police started combing and search operation at Kurar in Kither forests of Bonjwah area (in Kishtwar).
''After a brief firing from both the sides the security forces managed to arrest the militant,'' the sources told UNI.
The militant was identifed as Tousif, Alias Karim (code Abu Zuber) -- one of the two ultras who had managed to escape from the spot when a Pakistani 'district commander' of LeT, Abu Hamza, was shot dead by forces in a shootout in the same forest area, the sources said.
One Self-Loading Rifle (SLR), two magazines and 26 rounds were recovered from the possession of the arrested militant, the sources said.
Security forces have launched ''Operation Kither Free'', as a second leg of ''Operation Snowleopard'' in the area.
''After 15 years, militancy in the Kither area was completely over during the operation Snowleopard.
'Reportedly, there still exist several hideouts and war-like stores in the area and militants from the adjoining places have started entering Kither. So, looking at this situation security forces have started another operation, ''Operation Kither Free'', the sources informed.
Till now the militant commander has been killed and one arrested in the operation while a police constable was killed in an encounter and one RR jawan died after slipping into a river.
The other associate of Abu Hamza was still at large.
UNI VJ SV KN1434