Top commander, 3 HM militants among 5 killed, Kulgam ultra free now

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Srinagar, Jan 30 (UNI) A top commander and three other militants of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), allegedly involved in the 2006 massacre of non-state subject labourers, were killed in Kulgam district a senior police officer said.

Meanwhile one person was shot dead while security forces busted a hideout and recovered a large cache of arms and ammunition overnight.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir range, S M Sahai told reporters at Bijbehara that a search operation was launched at village Watipora, Kulgam in south Kashmir today following a tip-off about the presence of militants.

When the police personnel were about to storm a particular area, militants opened fire, and the fire was returned, he said.

Later reinforcement from nearby camps, including First Rashtriya Rifles, (RR) was rushed to the area.

All the four militants, including a self styled District Commander Sajjad Ahmad Bhat alias Tahir were killed. The other three militants were identified as Firdous Ahmad Wani alias Nasir, Farooq Ahmad alias Abu Huzlaf and Wakas alias Furkan. Four AK rifles and other arms and ammunition were recovered from the slain militants, who were involved in a number of IED and other incidents in the south Kashmir.

Mr Sahai said Tihar was involved was the June 2006 massacre of labourers at village Badroo in Anantnag.

The police chief in Kashmir said Kulgam is now almost free from local militants.

A police spokesman said bullet riddled body of one Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat was recovered at Kaipora last night.

Police also arrested a militant and busted a hideout at Lalpora in the frontier district of Kupwara. The arms and ammunition recovered included 34 UBGLs with 20 grenades.

In another incident, militants attacked a police party at Mujmee in Reasi last night. Police personnel also retaliated but the militants managed to escape under the cover of darkness. Later some arms and ammunition were recovered near the site of encounter.

UNI BAS JT KP1936

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