Hizbul-Mujahideen commander, 2 other militants killed in J&K's Shopian encounter

Hizbul-Mujahideen commander, 2 other militants killed in J&K's Shopian encounter

Hizbul-Mujahideen commander, 2 other militants killed in J&K's Shopian encounter

Itoo was one of the longest surviving militants and was considered as the Hizb's top commander in south Kashmir, police sources said. Meanwhile, stone pelting clashes erupted near the encounter site.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Muneer Khan, said of three militants killed in Shopian during an encounter, one is Yasin Itoo, the Hizbul Mujahideen's operational chief. The other two militants killed in the gunfight are Umar Majeed of Kulgam and Irfan-ul-Haq of Shopian. The operation against the terrorists continued for around 20 hours. Itoo was held responsible for instigating the violence in the Valley after the killing of militant Burhan Wani past year.

Injured soldiers were rushed to the 92 Base Hospital of the Army for treatment, where two of them died.

Since January the police and the army have killed four top militant commanders having huge operational capabilities.

The gun battle began when a team of local police and the Indian army launched searches in Avneera village.

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After receiving intelligence inputs that a group of two to three militants were hiding in the village, security forces including Rashtriya Rifles, state police and the CRPF surrounded the area on Saturday. Two of them later succumbed to injuries.

Internet services have been blocked in Badgam district following the identification of Itoo among the slain militants.

In another incident, three security personnel, including two policemen and an army soldier, sustained injuries when militants fired at a cordon laying party in Hajin area of Bandipora district on Sunday.

The cordon and search operation was later called off as the militants managed to escape from the area.

The dead soldiers were identified as Sepoy Ilayaraja P, a resident of Tamil Nadu, and Sepoy Gawai Sumedh Waman from Maharashtra.

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