By Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, India – Indian troops on Sunday killed five militants, including a top commander from the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group, in stepped-up anti-militancy operations in Kashmir, police said.
The militants were killed in two separate overnight operations by Indian troops south of Srinagar, Kashmir Police chief Vijay Kumar told Reuters.
“We had launched two separate operations on the basis of inputs about the presence of militants in these areas last night. Five militants, including JeM commander, Zahid Wani, and a Pakistani national, Kafeel, were killed in these two operations,” Kumar said.
A police officer was shot to death by militants outside his residence Saturday evening in the south of Srinagar, Kumar said.
In January, 21 militants, including 8 Pakistan nationals, have been killed across Indian Kashmir, according to police.
Last year, the disputed region witnessed a wave of civilian killings, with militants seemingly targeting non-Kashmiris, including migrant workers, and members of the minority Hindu and Sikh communities in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley.
Indian forces in the heavily militarised region responded with a widespread crackdown.
More than 189 militants were killed in Kashmir last year, a police official said.