Top Hizb commander among 3 militants killed in 24 hrs: Police

Srinagar: A top Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant was among the three militants killed in separate encounters in Kashmir valley since Thursday, police said.

Police said that a militant, who was affiliated with “Mujahedeen Gazwatul Hind”, was killed in a brief encounter with security forces at Bemina area of uptown Srinagar late yesterday evening.

The militant, who was killed in a brief gunfight in Bemina area of Srinagar on Thursday evening was tasked to carry out a fidayeen attack, police said and identified the slain militant as Aamir Riyaz of Khrew Pulwama, adding that AK rifle along with ammunition was recovered from the encounter site.

Police said Riyaz was a relative of one of the accused of 2019 Lethpora suicide bombing. The attack had left 40 CRPF personnel dead and brought India and Pakistan at the brink of war.

“Terrorist killed in #Srinagar #Encounter identified as Aamir Riyaz of Khrew #Pulwama affiliated with proscribed terror outfit Mujahideen Gazwatul Hind. He was relative of one of the accused of #LethporaTerrorAttack and was assigned to carry out fidayeen attack,” a police tweet said while quoting the Inspector General of Police, Kashmir.

On February 14, 2019, a local suicide bomber Adil Dar of Jaish-e-Mohammad rammed his explosive-laden car into CRPF bus at Lethpora, Pulwama, leaving 40 personnel of the force dead. The attack was followed by Balakote air strikes. A day later Pakistan retaliated and it triggered a brief dogfight.

Meanwhile, two militants including a top commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen were killed in an overnight encounter in Kulgam.

The gunfight had erupted at Chawalgam village in Kulgam on Thursday evening when a joint team of police, 18 battalion CRPF and Army’s 9 Rashtriya Rifles launched a cordon and search operation in the area following an input about militant presence.

Police said two militants were killed in the encounter. Police later identified one of the slain as District Commander of Hizb Shiraz Molvi who was active since 2016.

“Killed Militants identified as District commander of HM Shiraz Molvi & Yawar Bhat. Shiraz was active since 2016 & was involved in #recruiting innocent youth into terror ranks & several civilian killings, A big success for us,” a police tweet said while quoting the Inspector General of Police.

Shiraz was “A plus plus” category militant and was named in 19 FIRS. Police said another slain militant Bhat was active since March this year. (UNI)

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