SRINAGAR, Feb 22 (IANS): A top commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit was killed in a gunfight with security forces in north Kashmir's Sopore town Tuesday evening, police said.
"The seniormost commander of LeT in the Valley, Abu Ukasha Badar, was killed in the gunfight with the security forces today (Tuesday)," Sopore's Superintendent of Police Syed Imtiyaz Hussain told IANS.
A soldier was also injured in the gunfight, he added.
Hussain also said that Badar, a Pakistani national, earlier acted as the deputy of the LeT chief commander, Abdullah Uni, who was killed last year in a gunfight with the security forces in Sopore town.
Security forces had earlier Tuesday surrounded a house in the bypass road area of the town following information about the presence of guerrillas inside.
"As the surrounding security forces challenged the holed-up militant to surrender, he opened fire at the troops resulting in injury to a soldier," the superintendent of police said.
The killing of the LeT commander is seen as a major success by the security forces in their operations against the guerrillas in the Valley.
The house in which the guerrilla was hiding was destroyed in the exchange of gunfire between the security forces and the guerrilla.
Sopore has been the hotbed of separatist violence during the last 22 years. It was to fight the guerrilla presence in the area that Sopore was declared a separate police district four years ago.