Top Hizbul Militant Killed in Kashmir Firefight

Srinagar, Nov 17: A top commander of the pro-Pakistan militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen was killed in a fierce encounter with Indian soldiers in Indian administered Kashmir on Thursday.

A police official said a joint party of army, paramilitary and police officials laid siege around the Shalidora village of Shopian, some 54 kms south of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian administered Kashmir, last night to flush out the militants hiding there. “While the combing operation was going on, militants hiding in a house fired from automatic weapons towards the search party. The fire was returned by the soldiers, triggering an encounter. In the ensuing gunfight, which continued for a few hours, a top HM commander was killed,” he said.

He identified the deceased militant as Muneer Ahmad Kalas. “An AK-47 rifle and a magazine were recovered from the encounter site. He was active in the area since last year and was involved in several militancy related incidents,” the police official said.

Sources said another militant managed to escape from the encounter site.

Meanwhile, a police spokesperson said a patrol party of the army detected a five-kilogram IED placed in a pressure cooker on the Kupwara-Sogam road at Lassipora in North Kashmir.

“Army’s patrol party detected the IED and it was defused by experts of the bomb disposal squad, who destroyed the device at a nearby field,” he said.

Fayaz Wani reports on life in Srinagar, Kashmir.