Hizbul Mujahideen commander martyred

Lynette Rowe
August 13, 2017

A senior police officer said two militants had managed to escape from the cordoned area during the operation. A dozen stone-pelting protesters were injured in clashes with security forces in the area.

Jammu and Kashmir police chief S.P. Vaid tweeted on the success: "One of terrorists killed today morning at Shopian is identified as Yasin Itoo; operational commander of Hizbul Mujahideen". The other two militants killed in the gunfight are Umar Majeed of Kulgam and Irfan-ul-Haq of Shopian.

Earlier among the three militants killed in the encounter, the police had identified one militant as Adil Malik but after verification, the police said Malik was not among the killed.

Itoo was Hizbul Mujahideen's operations commander in the region. The operation against the terrorists continued for around 20 hours. In a solemn ceremony at BB Cantt, Lt Gen JS Sandhu, Chinar Corps Commander and all ranks, paid homage to the martyrs, as did representatives and officials from the state government and other security agencies.

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"As security personnel tried to zero in on the houses damaged in the gunfight, militants opened fire again", said a policeman.

Itoo, often called a "vintage militant" as he joined Hizbul Mujahideen in 1996, had surrendered in 2007 and later released on parole in 2014. The injured were taken to 92 Base Hospital of the Army for treatment. Two injured soldiers later succumbed to critical injuries.

On Saturday afternoon, the Army, police and CRPF had launched the operation in Awneera hamlet, around 15 km from Shopian town, after receiving inputs about the presence of militants.

Internet services have been blocked in Badgam district following the identification of Itoo among the slain militants. Ilayaraja comes from Kandani village in Tamil Nadu whereas Waman was from Lonagra village in Maharashtra.

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