Two top HM commanders killed in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Apr 23 (UNI) A self-styled District Commander (DC) and his deputy of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) outfit, involved in the killing of a Congress leader and fly-over blast in Srinagar, were killed today after remaining holed up in a house for more than 12 hours in north Kashmir.

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

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

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Baramulla, Anand Jain said a search operation was launched jointly by Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police and 46 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) after receiving a specific information about the presence of militants at Khawaja Bagh area in the town.

He said when the troops were about to storm the three-storeged 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.

Mr Jain said in the encounter DC Tanveer Ahmed Zargar alias Tana Khan and his deputy Imtiyaz Khan alias Nayeem alias Ana were killed.

Tanveer, 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. They were involved in the killing of Congress leader Mohd Azhar Kakroo alias Jan Kakroo at Baramulla.

More than a dozen top leaders of the HM outfit were killed or arrested by the security forces in the Kashmir valley during the past one month.

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 streets were raising ''pro- freedom'' slogans.


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