Encounters between security forces and militants were witnessed in 12 of the 22 districts of Jammu and Kashmir last year with Kupwara accounting for the highest number of militants, 55 killed in such encounters, police said.

While such encounters were witnessed in 9 out of 10 districts of Kashmir Valley in the year, 3 out of 10 districts of Jammu region saw such incidents. There was no encounter reported in Ladakh province during the time period, an officer told PTI.

Out of the total 256 militants killed in 2018, south Kashmir recorded the highest number of killings, 127 followed by north Kashmir, 93 and central Kashmir 24. Nine militants were killed in Jammu region last year.

“As many as 52 militants were killed in Kupwara border district of north Kashmir in 2018. The militants were killed in encounters in the hinterland and during foiling of infiltration bids along LoC in this border district,” the officer said.

Shopian, considered the hub of militancy in the Valley, saw the killing of 43 militants, he said.

Pulwama district of south Kashmir accounted for the killing of 39 militants followed by Anantnag which witnessed the death of 30 militants.

The top militant commanders who emerged from this region are Burhan Wani, Zeenat Ul Islam, Al Badr commander Zeenat-ul Islam, Lateef Tiger and Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, the officials said.

The police officer said more than 26 top militant commanders affiliated to Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar, Hizbul Mujahideen, Harkat-ul- Mujahideen and Ansar–ul-Gazwat- ul-Hind were killed in different anti-militancy operations by the government forces last year.
In north Kashmir, 93 militants were killed last year, 27 were killed in Baramulla, 17 in Bandipora and 52 in Kupwara.

In central Kashmir, Srinagar recorded killing of 16 militants followed by eight in Budgam. No militant was killed in Ganderbal district in 2018.

In the Jammu region, where nine militants were eliminated in the encounters, five were killed in Jammu district followed by three in Reasi and one in Poonch border district, officials added. (PTI)