The nephew of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar was one of the two suspected militants killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday, reported the GNS Kashmir news agency. The gunfight with government forces broke out in Tral region’s Chankitar village.
The Pakistan-based militant outfit in a statement confirmed that one of the men killed in the gunfight was Mohammad Usman, Azhar’s nephew. The Jaish-e-Mohammed paid tributes to him as well as the second militant, whom it identified as Tral resident Showkat Ahmad.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police said the two militants were involved in a “series of attacks on the forces from a distance”, the Greater Kashmir reported. “The dead bodies of the two militants were recovered from the site of encounter along with arms and ammunition, including M4 and AK-47 rifles and other incriminating materials,” said an unidentified police spokesperson.
The group was involved in a recent incident of firing at a security forces’ camp, added the spokesperson.
The gunfight broke out on Tuesday afternoon after security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation based on a tip that three militants were in the area. The encounter ended after forces detonated the houses that the suspected militants were trapped in.
Awantipora Superintendent of Police Zahid Malik said security forces were looking for the body of a third militant.
Azhar is accused of having carried out several terror attacks in India, including the one on an Army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016, where 17 members of the security forces were killed.