<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Going all guns blazing against the militants, security forces dealt yet another blow to Lashkar-e-Taiba when they killed three top commanders in an early morning operation in Magam area of Handwara in the border district of Kupwara on Tuesday.This is the second major counter-terror operation in North Kashmir in the last four days. Nine militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba including top commander Mehmood Bhai, Zargam and nephew of 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi have been eliminated in two operations of Hajin and Handwara since Saturday.The Handwara operation was launched after security forces received a tip-off about the presence of militants in Khar Moholla area of Magam in the wee hours of Tuesday. Immediately a joint operation was launched by the army, special operations group of J&K police and CRPF in the area.When the troops were closing in on the target, they came under a heavy fire from the hiding militants. The fire was immediately retaliated and in the ensuing encounter, three militants were eliminated. “Three LeT terrorists all Pakistanis neutralized in Magam area of Handwara district in North Kashmir. Excellent work!” tweeted Dr Shesh Paul Vaid, director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir.Deputy Inspector General of police, North Kashmir, Vidhi Kumar Birdhi told DNA that the operation is still on in the area. “There was information about the presence of militants. We believed two to three militants were trapped. The contact was established and the firefight started”, he said.This is the third operation in the valley in the last four days. A local ultra, who had fled the encounter when top commander Sabzar Bhat was neutralized in May, was finally killed by the security forces in an encounter in Tral forests of south Kashmir on Monday. Identified as Adil Rashid, he had escaped the encounter in which Burhan Wani’s successor Sabzar Bhat and his associate Faizan Ahmed were killed at Saimoh village of Tral.The toll of the militants killed this year by the security forces has now touched 194. Sources said more than 71 security force men too have lost their lives in the line of duty this year so far.This year so far, sources said 70 new ultras have been able to infiltrate into Kashmir. Last year estimated net infiltration (number of militants who managed to sneak in) was 112 compared to 33 in 2015. Similarly, estimated net infiltration was 65 in 2014 compared to 97 in 2013.

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J&K: Three top Lashkar commanders, all Pakistani, killed in encounter in Handwara