Top Hizbul Militants Killed In Baramulla Encounter

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Srinagar: Two militants, possibly from Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, were on Saturday killed in an encounter with security forces in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district while two police personnel were hurt in the operation.

Security forces launched an operation in Amargarh area of Baramulla district this morning following information about presence of militants in the area, a police official said.

He said the encounter broke out during the cordon and search operations, resulting in the killing of two militants, whose identity and group affiliation was not yet ascertained.

Though the police has yet to identify the duo, the local sources said the slain men were two senior commanders of indigenous outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Azaharuddin alias Ghazi Umar and Sajad Ahmed alias Babar.  The officials said that the police had information about the militants travelling in a car on the highway in the Sheer Amargarh area to relocate to Sopore.

Confirming it, a statement issued by the J&K police here said that the members of its counterinsurgency Special Operations Group (SOG) along with other security forces “thwarted a major terrorist action” by killing the militant duo in the brief encounter.

The Hizb has, meanwhile, confirmed that the slain militants were its senior local commander who had been affiliated with the outfit “for quite some time”. It said Azaharuddin alias Ghazi Umar was a lecturer by profession who had abdicated the government service to join the outfit.

A Sub Inspector of police was injured while another officer was hurt during the operation, the official said.

He said an AK rifle and a pistol were among the weapons and other stores recovered from the scene of the gunbattle.