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Rahul Bhat's killer among 3 LeT militants killed in Budgam encounter

Incriminating materials, arms and ammunition recovered

Prolonged deployment in counter-terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir and northeast creates a negative impact on the physical endurance and mental health of a soldier, says an officer | PTI (File) Representational image

Three Lashkar-e-Taiba militants, including Lateef Rather who was involved in the killing of Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat in May, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, police said.

"All the three hiding LeT #terrorists #neutralised. Bodies being retrieved from the site, identication yet to be ascertained. #Incriminating materials, arms & ammunition recovered. A big success for us," Additional Director General of Police (Kashmir Zone) Vijay Kumar tweeted.

Kumar later said the slain terrorists included Lateef Rather, who was involved in killing of Kashmiri Pandit employee Rahul Bhat and TV actor Amreen Bhat in May this year.

"#Terrorist Lateef Rather @ Abdullah, killer of Rahul Bhat & Amreen Bhat among the three killed #terrorists. He was involved in several #terror crime cases, including several civilian #killings & #atrocities," Kumar said.

Rahul Bhat was shot dead by militants inside his office at Chadoora while Amreen Bhat was killed by the ultras outside her house in Hushru area of Budgam district.

Earlier, police had said three LeT terrorists were trapped at the encounter site.

Security forces launched a cordon and search operation at Waterhail in Khansahib area of the district following information about presence of militants there, a police spokesman said, adding the search operation turned into an encounter after the militants fired at the security forces who retaliated.

Kumar earlier said three Lashkar men, including most wanted Lateef Rather, were trapped in the encounter.

"03 #terrorists of #terror outfit LeT(TRF) including terrorist Lateef Rather trapped in ongoing #encounter. Terrorist Lateef is involved in several #civilian #killings including Rahul Bhat & Amreen Bhat," Kumar tweeted.

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