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Ten top Hizb militants arrested in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Apr 17 (UNI) In a major success, the Army and the Jammu and Kashmir police today apprehended ten top Hizbul Mujahideen militants from Sopre and Pattan in Baramulla district, a defence spokesman said.

He said the ultras were involved in several killings and other militancy-related activities in the Kashmir valley.

The spokesman said two of the arrested militants, Hilal and Nissar, confessed to their involvement in killing of three personnel of the Special Task Force (STF) of the state Police and a civilian, Mushtaq Ahmad Ganai, of Dangarpura village on May 29 last year.

Two other ultras, Mehraj-ud-din and Imtiyaz, were involved in killing of two civilians at the Sopore bus stand in October last year. Besides involvment in killings, Tariq Ahmad Rather and Nissar were also managing finance and equipment for the Hizb, he added.

This group of militants was active in Baramulla and Srinagar districts and confessed to their involvement in killing of civilians, two STF personnel in Chankhan, Sopore and few SPOs.

They were also involved in planting IEDs in the area and grenade blasts in Sopore town between 2004-06, the spokesman said.

The apprehended militants revealed that they were planning to eliminate candidates from Rafiabad and Pattan before the bypolls.

The militants had been promised substantial reward money by the outfit for eliminating the political leaders, he added.

The spokesman said four Chinese pistols with ammunition, 15 Chinese grenades, four kg of explosive material and three electronic detonators were seized from the ultras.

The arrest of militants from Sopore and Pattan in north Kashmir by the Army and the police in the past few days has dealt a major blow to their designs of disturbing peace in the area, he added.

Their arrest will go a long way in ensuring free and fair by-elections in Pattan, Sangrama and Rafiabad constituencies of Baramulla district, the spokesman said.

UNI AG FMH RR RN2059

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