HM commander killed, encounter sitll on in Kashmir

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Baramulla, Apr 23 (UNI) One of the two militants, holed up in a house, identified as District Commander (DC) of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) involved in fly-over blast in Srinagar, was killed near here today.

The house owner and another civilian were injured in the shootout, they said.

The town observed a complete shut down with hundreds of people taking to the streets in support of the holed up militants.

Official sources said Army and Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police launched a joint operation in Hyderpora locality at Khwaja Bagh, about two km from here at 0100 hrs following a tip-off about the presence of militants there.

They said when the troops were about to storm the three-storeyed house of Mushtaq Ahmad, militants opened indiscriminate firing from inside.

Later, reinforcements were rushed to the area to cordoned around the house.

Sharp shooters took position in the nearby houses after the militants refused to surrender despite repeated warnings.

They said HM DC Tanveer Khan was killed so far in the encounter.

Khan, a most wanted militant in north Kashmir, was involved in the fly-over Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in Srinagar in which one civilian was killed and about 16 others were injured on March 19.

Shops and business establishments in the town and adjoining areas remained closed. However, a number of vehicles could be seen plying on different routes.

Work in the government offices and educational institutions was affected due to tense situation in the town as exchange of firing could be heard in the entire town.

Hundreds of people, who took to the streets were raising ''pro- freedom'' slogans.

UNI BAS SP AS1507

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