Kishtwar, Feb 27: Two top militants of the Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) were gunned down by security forces in a fierce gun-battle in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday.
Acting on specific information about the presence of LeT militants in Dool-Banzwar forest belt in the district, troops of the 17 Rastriya Rifles and the police launched a cordon-and-search operation in the area to track them down, a senior police official said.
The militants fired on the security forces as they saw them closing in, he said, adding that a fierce gun battle broke in the area in which two LeT militants were killed.
Security forces recovered an AK rifle, a pistol and seven magazines, he said, adding that the deceased militants have been identified as Mohmmad Rafeeq and Shahnawaz Khandey, code-named Bilal of Kishtwar.
"The duo were recycled militants as they have first surrendered and then went back to join the ranks of the militants in LeT", the officer said.
Rafeeq, who was a dreaded militant since 2003, had killed a police constable Javaid Bhat in 2005 and later surrendered and was sent to jail.
After their release from jail, he joined back the ranks of militants in Kishtwar in LeT in January 2010 and later killed Special Police Officer (SPO) Haneef Ahmed in December last year.
Shahnawaz, who had joined militancy in 2005, was arrested in 2007 and later released in 2010. He later re-joined militancy in the LeT ranks last year.