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  India   All India  26 Nov 2018  J&K: Top Hizb and LeT militants, jawan killed in gunfight

J&K: Top Hizb and LeT militants, jawan killed in gunfight

THE ASIAN AGE. | YUSUF JAMEEL
Published : Nov 26, 2018, 1:35 am IST
Updated : Nov 26, 2018, 2:53 am IST

Soon after the encounter, irate crowds took to the streets and clashed with the security forces.

The Army and police termed the killing of six Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militants in the gunfight as a “major success” against these outfits. (Representational Image)
 The Army and police termed the killing of six Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militants in the gunfight as a “major success” against these outfits. (Representational Image)

Srinagar: Three “district commanders” were among the six militants killed in a fierce pre-dawn gunfight with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s southern Shopian district on Sunday, officials said. An Army jawan was also killed in the clash, they added.

Soon after the encounter, irate crowds took to the streets and clashed with the security forces. The latter fired live ammunition to quell the protesters and stone-pelting mobs, resulting in the death of a teenager, Noaman Ashraf Butt, and injuries to several others, witnesses and police sources said.

 

Among the injured is a two-year-old girl, Hibba, who, according to her father Mushtaq Ahmed, got a pellet injury in her eye while standing in the window of her house near the site of clashes in Shopian’s Batgund village.

The Army and police termed the killing of six Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militants in the gunfight as a “major success” against these outfits. A police spokesman said: “All the killed six terrorists were wanted by the law for involvement in a series of terror crimes, including attacks on security establishments and civilian killings in the area. With their killing, all notorious terrorists of the belt have been successfully eliminated.”

 

On Friday, six militants belonging to Hizb and LeT, including three senior commanders, were killed in a similar gunbattle in Bijbehara area of Anantnag. A suspected Jaish-e-Muhammad militant was killed in a brief encounter with the security forces in Khrew area on the outskirts of Srinagar on Sunday afternoon, the police added.

The security forces have gained an upper hand against the separatist militants after killing over 30 of them in October and about two dozen so far this month, a senior Army official said.  He added that among the slain were nine top commanders of the banned outfits.

Giving the details of the gunfight in Shopian, a police spokesman said the encounter began during a cordon-and-search operation launched by the Army’s 34 Rashtriya Rifles, the J&K police’s counterinsurgency Special Operations Group (SOG) and the CRPF in the district’s Batgund village overnight. “The operation was launched following credible inputs about the presence of a large number of militants in the village,” he said. The operation ended with the killing of six cadres of the Hizb and the LeT, the spokesman added.

 

The spokesman identified the slain militants as Mushtaq Ahmed Mir alias Hammad alias Musa, Muhammad Abbas Butt, Umar Majeed Ganai alias Maaz alias Abu Hanzalla alias Abdur Rehman, Muhammad Waseem Wagay alias Saifullah and Khalid Farooq Malik alias Rafi alias Talha. He said their sixth colleague is believed to be a Pakistani.

“It was a combined group of the Hizb and LeT. Mushtaq Ahmed Mir alias Hammad was operating as district commander of LeT whereas Muhammad Abbas was Shopian district commander of the Hizb and Umar Majeed Gania his counterpart for Kulgam,” the spokesman said.

The police said Muhammad Abbas Butt was involved in several terror-related crimes like the recent spate of “gruesome” killings of civilians in Shopian, including the decapitating of 19-year-old youth Huzaif Ashraf. “He was wanted by the law for killing young Army officer Lt. Omar Fayaz, lawyer Imtiyaz Khan and four police personnel and many other civilian killings in the area,” a police statement said.

 

The soldier who died while fighting militants has been identified as Nazir Ahmad of 162 Territorial Army. Sepoy Sunil Kumar of 34 Rashtriya Rifles was injured in the clash, Army sources sai,d adding that his condition was “stable”.  The police said that incriminating materials, including a huge quantity of arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of the encounter.

A report from Shopian said that a few more militants, including a deputy chief commander of Hizb and his foreign accomplices, who were also trapped in the village during the operation, had managed to escape.

The killing of militants led to protests and clashes between stone-pelting mobs and the security forces and a spontaneous shutdown in Shopian and some neighbouring areas.

 

Tags: let militants, hizb-ul-mujahideen militants, indian army
Location: India, Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar