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HM Commander, Aide Killed in Kashmir Firefight

Srinagar, June 27: Police said a top commander of the pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen and his close associate were killed in a fierce gunfight in Indian administered Kashmir on Monday.

Giving details, a police officer said police received inputs last evening that a group of militants had entered village Koel Shikargah in Tral, some 40 kms south of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir. “Immediately after receiving the input, a joint operation was launched by police and army. The soldiers zeroed-in on three houses, where militants were said to be hiding. As the combing operation was going on, the soldiers came under fire from the militants hiding in one of the house. The fire was returned by the soldiers, triggering an encounter”, he said.

In the ensuing gunfight, two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed. “Two Armymen including a Captain Dass sustained injuries in the gunfight and were hospitalized,” he said.

The deceased militants were identified as Muzaffar Ahmad Malla of Tral and Suhail Ahmad Khan of Dadsara, Tral. “Muzaffar was Divisional Commander of HM for South Kashmir. He was nominated as Divisional Commander after the death of Sajjad Ahmad alias Balle on the 5th of April this year. Suhail had joined militancy a year ago and was involved in the killing of NC Block President on the 30th of March,” police officer said.

Meanwhile, an unidentified gunmen shot and killed an employee of the Irrigation and Flood Control department in Ganderbal district on Monday.

A police officer said 50-year-old Mohammad Yaqoob son of Haji Habibullah Kasana of Gujar Basti, Prang, was intercepted by militants in Najwan forest area in outskirts of Srinagar early this morning and was shot dead from close range.

The police officer said a massive manhunt has been launched to track down the militants responsible for the killing.

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