Azhar’s nephew among 2 militants killed

Security personnel taking positions during encounter at Tral on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Younis Khaliq
Security personnel taking positions during encounter at Tral on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Younis Khaliq

Major among 8 soldiers injured

Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR, Oct 30: Two militants including nephew of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Moulana Masood Azhar, were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Tral area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district today.
One of the killed militants has been identified as JeM commander and sniper, Mohammad Usman Hyder and the other as Showkat Ahmad, a local militant of Tral area. Usman, as per sources, is nephew of Moulana Masood Azhar and was a sniper.
Police said that two charred bodies of the militants have been recovered from the encounter site and searches in the area are continuing. They said that a UBGL-barrel rifle has been recovered from the encounter site. Click here to watch video
Sources said that the militant module was involved in recent attacks in Tral area of South Kashmir in which one SSB and one army personnel were killed. The sniper attacks had added security worries for top brass of the security forces in Kashmir.
Earlier a gunfight broke out at Chankitar village of Mandoora area of Tral this afternoon, soon after a joint team of Army’s 42RR, SOG and 180 Battalion of CRPF launched a cordon and search operation following specific information about the presence of some militants in the area.
As the joint team of security forces launched searches, hiding militants fired upon the security forces, triggering an encounter. During the course of the gunfight, the house was razed to rubble. Two charred bodies of the militants were recovered.
A police spokesman said that in Chankitar area of Tral, a cordon and search operation was launched today by security forces based on credible inputs about the presence of militants in the area.
“During the search operation, the hiding militants fired upon the search party, which was retaliated, leading to an encounter. In the ensuing encounter so far, two dead bodies of the militants have been recovered. They were affiliated with proscribed terror outfit JeM”, he said.
“Citizens are once again requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials, if any”, he said.
And militants hurled grenade and fired upon a police picket guarding the residence of former Congress leader Mohammad Shafi Banday at Bun-Bazaar Shopian. Police personnel on duty repulsed the attack. However, no one was injured and militants fled from the spot.
Eight Army soldiers including an officer were injured in a blast at Rajwar area of Handwara in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district today.
An Army domination party of 21 RR led by Major Surab Suman was passing through the forests of Nagranad area of Zachaldara, Rajwar when the blast occurred.
Sources said that the grenade exploded accidentally while the army officer was giving the demonstration to the soldiers in the forests. Eight soldiers including the Army major suffered serious injuries in the blast.
All the injured were taken to Military Hospital Drugmulla where from two seriously wounded including the Army Major have been referred to Army’s 92 Base Hospital Badami Bagh Cantonment Srinagar for specialized treatment.
Militants this afternoon attacked a mobile bunker vehicle of the army in a village in South Kashmir’s Shopian district.
Militants opened fire on the Casper vehicle of 23 Para in Meemender area of Shopian around 1:50 pm. The Army personnel immediately retaliated. They cordoned off the whole area to nab the attackers.
As the security forces laid the cordon there was stone pelting which led to clahses. Aijaz Dar, a stringer for news channels, was injured at Memandr, Shopian today. Aijaz received 5-6 pellets on his face.
And security forces busted an under construction hideout, in a joint operation, at Memandr, Shopian in the house of Mohammad Shafi Sheikh. Incriminating material was recovered during the searches.