Srinagar, Dec 3 (UNI) A top commander of the Al Badr militant outfit was killed in a 24-hour-long fierce gun-battle with security forces at Beerwah in central Kashmir district of Badgam today.
Elsewhere in Jammu and Kashmir, security forces apprehended a top Hizbul Mujahideen militant while ultras shot dead a horticulture department employee since last evening, an official spokesman said.
He said police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel launched a joint operation at Aarth Beerwah in Badgam district last evening following specific information about presence of militants in a particular house.
As the security forces zeroed in on the house, the militants fired upon them with automatic weapons from inside. The fire was retaliated by the security forces, triggering a fierce gunfight with holed up militants, he added.
While the operation was suspended for the night, the cordon continued throughout. With the first light this morning, security forces tried to clear the area and were again fired upon by the holed up militants, he said.
The fire was returned and in the ensuing gunfight, a divisional commander of the Al Badr outfit, Bilal Afghani alias Chota Bilal, was gunned down. One AK rifle and one UBGL were also seized from the encounter site, he added.
Police claimed that Bilal, one of the most wanted ''A'' category militants, was active in a vast area between Beerwah, Soibugh and Bandipora since the past eight years.
They further claimed that Bilal was involved in several attacks on police and security forces besides killings of many innocent civilians, including a Tangmarg Councillor.
Police recovered the bullet-riddled body of Firdous Ahmad Reshi, a daily wager of the horticulture department at Dooru village in Sopore area of Baramulla district today.
The Special Operation Group of the state police arrested a top militant of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen from Nagrota area on the outskirts of Jammu city last evening. The militant was identified as Mohammad Hayat Bhoru alias Danish.
Based on specific information, personnel of Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and the state police busted two militant hideouts in Darha area of Rajouri district today.
Three 82 mm mortor bombs, 12 UBGLs, eight Chinese hand grenades, huge quantity of assorted ammunition and two IEDs were seized from the hideout, the spokesman said.