Two IAF commandos killed in Kashmir

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Almost 150 militants, including top commanders Sabzar Bhat, Junaid Mattoo, Ayub Lelhari, Bashir Lashkari, Abu Dujana, Mehmood Gaznavi and Umer Khalid, have been killed by security forces this year, which is the highest in the past eight years. Two Indian Air Force Garud commandos were killed in the encounter and two terrorists have also been shot dead.

Indian Air Force (IAF) on Wednesday took a hit in the Kashmir valley for the first time in the last 27 years of violent insurgency, when two of its commandos were killed in a fierce gunbattle with terrorists in north Kashmir's Bandipora district.

Police said the two militants killed were responsible for the September 28 killing of Border Security Force (BSF) trooper Muhammad Ramban Parray when he was on leave and visiting his home in Parray Mohalla village, also in Hajin. Both belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba militant outfit, he said.

The militants opened fire early in the morning, injuring the two men who later died of their wounds.

In the encounter, two terrorists were also gunned down by the Indian security personnel.

The operation started when the army cordoned off Hajin area after a specific input about the presence of rebels, officials said.

The need for a dedicated force was felt when militants attacked two air bases in Jammu and Kashmir in 2001.

The slain militants have been identified as Abu Bakr alias Ali Baba, a Pakistani national, and Nasarullah Mir, a resident of Hajin.

"He was killed in a joint operation by the Jammu and Kashmir Police's Special Operation Group, local police, the CRPF and the Army", he had said. The security forces have been giving a befitting reply and foiling all attempts to vitiate atmosphere in the state. The security forces are going after militants as part of Operation Hunt Down and on the basis of a hit list of terrorists.