JK: Security Forces Lauded For Neutralizing Lashkar Commander

Kashmir Woman killed in crossfire between security forces & militants in Anantnag

"The encounter is over". Ahmad killed six police officers in an ambush in the southern Anantnag district last month, the officials said.

Security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in Brenti-Batpora in Anantnag early today after they received information about the presence of militants, including Lashkari, a police official said.

What began as a search operation in Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir state quickly turned into a security situation after gunfire erupted.

"They (forces) were not even letting women from a house where militants were trapped to come out", alleged a resident, according to the daily Greater Kashmir.

So far 22 civilians - mostly protesters - were killed ostensibly in firing by forces since February 15 when army chief General Bipin Rawat warned of stern action against civilians who would try to disrupt counter-insurgency operations.

A 21-year-old youth identified as Shadab Ahmad Chopan sustained bullet injuries in face and was evacuated to a Srinagar hospital, where doctors declared him brought dead. Mr Khan said the woman was killed in the crossfire. "In the cross firing a woman was injured who later on succumbed to her injuries".

The area, witnesses said is witnessing violent protests as people are trying to march to the encounter spot.

Over a dozen people were injured in the clashes which were going on as reports last came in. "Militants using civilians as human shields", said the spokesman.

Lashkar was a category A militant and district commander of LeT for Anantnag.

The police were searching for Bashir Lashkari for a long time and he was among the most-wanted list of terrorists.

Lashkari had masterminded and carried out the attack in which the six police men were killed and their bodies badly mutilated.

Lashkari had crossed the Line of Control (LoC) in 1999 and had taken arms training in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Sources said a hostage situation developed at the site of the encounter where, police said, 19 civilians were rescused from at least five houses, including the one where the two militants were holed up.

Soon after re-joining the LeT, he led a small group of armed militants in South Kashmir.

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