Defence officials on Thursday said they had identified the six militants who had abducted and killed Army officer Ummer Fayaz in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Tuesday night. They claimed the militants were from the Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba, PTI reported.

The Army had launched a massive manhunt on Wednesday to find Fayaz’s killers, vowing to bring the perpetrators to justice. His body was found with three bullet injuries and signs of struggle.

Earlier on Monday, the state police had suspected that the Indian Small Arms System or INSAS rifle that had been snatched from officers in South Kashmir had been used to murder the 22-year-old lieutenant-rank soldier. They had based their suspicion on the two empty INSAS rifle cartridges they had found near the spot where Fayaz’s body was found.

“We have leads that the Kulgam snatching was carried out by Lashkar terrorists, while Hizbul terrorists were involved in weapon-snatching at the Shopian court complex [on May 2],” said Inspector General of Kashmir Police SJM Gillani.

“These home-grown, self-trained militants are armed mostly with rifles taken from policemen. They are a paranoid lot who need to create an environment of terror to survive,” Gillani said, refusing to disclose the names of the militants identified, according to Hindustan Times.

Fayaz had been on his first break since joining the Army’s 2 Rajputana Rifles unit. He was part of the 129th batch of cadets from the National Defence Academy in Pune. He was kidnapped while attending a relative’s wedding and shot dead the same night.