New Delhi: Two terrorists, including the top commander of terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba  (LeT) and a local boy, who was held hostage by them, were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Hajin area of Bandipora district in Kashmir. Since Thursday, the security forces have carried out four encounters in Kashmir valley and have neutralised at least six terrorists in Kashmir Valley. 
According to officials, the local boy who was killed in the encounter was identified as  Atif Mir (12). The operation that began on Thursday lasted overnight as terrorists had captured two civilians as hostages and the security forces were maintaining extreme caution. While one civilian, Abdul Hamid Mir (60) was rescued yesterday evening, the other hostage was brutally killed by the terrorists.

Police said, one of the terrorists wanted to marry a local girl and had held six members of her family hostage. He was insisting on bringing the girl back to the house as a condition to free the hostages. However, security forces by then had rescued five members, including the minor girl. Militants did not release the minor boy. Videos of the village elder Mir Mohalla of Hajin surfaced on social media, showing him asking the two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, Ali alias Furkan and Hubaib, to release Atif Mir. 

Forces also took the help of family, members of the local Auqaf committee and a magistrate. They were brought to the encounter site to persuade the hiding militants to release the hostages but the militants brutally killed the minor.

As a joint team of forces approached the house, the hiding militants fired upon them, triggering an encounter. The operation was suspended for the night and resumed at the crack of the dawn. After the boy was killed, forces cleared the area where the terrorists were hiding and started a fierce gunbattle with terrorists.

The house belonging to Abdul Hamid Mir was razed to rubble during the gunfight and all the three bodies were charred. Police and the army also recovered two Ak-47 rifles. Among the two militants killed, one is said to be ‘Ali Bhai’, a top commander of LeT who was active in the area for several years.

From the incriminating material recovered at the site of the encounter, it is understood that two terrorists were Pakistani nationals. As per police records, both were affiliated with proscribed terror outfit Lashkar. 

All the incriminating material recovered has been taken into case records for further investigation to prove their complicity in other terror cases. The police have cordoned off the entire area and have issued an advisory asking people to refrain from venturing inside the encounter zone. 

Meanwhile, two militants were killed in an ongoing operation in Ratnipora area of South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Friday. Meanwhile, massive protest erupted near the encounter site after protesters tried to march closer to the site. The forces retaliated with tear shells to disperse the protesting youth.