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Kashmir: Top TRF commander Lateef Rather among 3 LeT terrorists killed in Budgam encounter

Three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists including noted TRF commander Lateef Rather were killed in an encounter at the Waterhail area of Budgam district in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Aasif Suhaf, Srinagar: Three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists including noted TRF commander Lateef Rather were killed in an encounter at the Waterhail area of Budgam district in Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, officials said.

The Ressistance Front (TRF) is a branch of Pakistan-backed terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).

Additional Director General of Police (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar told News24 that Lateef Rather Alias Osama was among three LeT terrorists who have been killed today at Budgam.

“Lateef Rather was directly involved in the killing of Kashmiri Pandit Rahul Bhat, Social media influencer Ambreen bhat and several other civilians, justice has been delivered,” said Vijay Kumar.

While giving details about the operation, ADGP Vijay Kumar said, “yesterday forces received technical inputs about TRF terrorists hiding in budgam, after verifying on ground operation was launched and all the three LeT terrorists including Lateef were killed.”

The ADGP said Lateef rather was a recycled terrorist and was a right hand man of Pakistani terrorist Abu Qasim, who was involved in the Hyderpora attack in which eight soldiers were martyred.

“Lateef Rather was active since 2001 and was categorised as an A++ terrorist affiliated with LeT, he was actively involved in the recent civilian killing including of Rahul Bhat in Budgam distt and was planning further killings but forces successfully neutralized him in an anti terrorist operation today. With the killing of Leteef, all terrorists who were responsible for target killings in last two years stands neutralised, except one who is still active,” Vijay Kumar said.

Rahul Bhat (35), who had got the job of a clerk under the special employment package for migrants in 2012-11, was shot dead at his office in the Chadoora area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on May 12 this year. Amreen Bhat, a social influencer was shot dead at her residence in the village of Hishroo Chadoora on May 25 this year.

ADGP Vijay Kumar further said that around 130 terrorists are currently active in Kashmir Valley, among them 80 are local and 45-50 are foreign terrorists. He said this year so far forces have successfully neutralised 130 terrorists and two terrorist guides, among them around 35% were hybrid terrorists.

“Pistols recovered from hybrid terrorist in Kashmir were mostly of Turkish make, but overall forces have succeeded in decoding the operating pattern of hybrid terrorists and they are no longer a challenge for forces,” ADGP Vijay Kumar said.

Two other terrorists killed in Budgam operation today have been identified as Saqib Khan and Muzaffar Chopan of Kanmoh area of Srinagar and Muzaffar had joined terrorists just few days back on 02-August 2022. Two Ak47 rifles and one pistol has been recovered from the encounter area.

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