NEW DELHI - A militant, identified as Sajjad Ahmad and said to be from Pakistan, was captured alive by Indian security forces in an encounter between the army and freedom fighters in Rafiabad, Baramulla district in Indian-held Kashmir on Thursday.

Indian media has once again alleged that Sajjad alias Abu Ubadullah, a 22-year old man is from Muzaffargarh district in Pakistan, and a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative. Earlier, Indian media also claimed that a Pakistani militant named M Naved Yakub of the same outfit had been arrested following the Udhampur attacks, but later the claim had proved bogus.

But a defence spokesman who spoke to AFP did not make any such claims. “One terrorist was killed yesterday in Uri and three today in the contiguous forest area of Rafiabad,” Indian defence spokesman Colonel N N Joshi said. “One was captured alive during the operation,” Joshi told AFP.

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Like it was the case of Naved, Indian media again has claimed that the arrested militant has confessed his Pakistani nationality and a sizeable cache of arms and ammunition has been recovered following the encounter.

The gunfight started on Wednesday afternoon after the army intercepted a group of militants in Toot Mar Gali of Nowgam sector in Kupwara. Three fighters were killed by the security forces on Thursday. The militants managed to break the cordon after being challenged by the army, triggering a gunfight on Wednesday on the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

An encounter had ensued in Rafiabad between the army and militants earlier on Thursday, which resulted in three terrorists being killed, and one being captured alive. According to CNN-IBN, Sajjad was hiding in a cave during the encounter and the army personnel had to throw a smoke grenade into the cave to capture him.

The fresh attack and resulting encounter and capture of a militant comes in the wake of cancellation of NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan. The talks, a part of the Ufa agreement, were dropped by Pakistan after India put its foot down on Pakistan NSA Sartaz Aziz meeting Hurriyat leaders. Pakistan denied continuing with the talks with preconditions imposed by India.