Pulwama co-conspirator among 2 militants killed

Troops at the site of encounter at Bijbehara, Anantnag on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Sajjad Dar
Troops at the site of encounter at Bijbehara, Anantnag on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Sajjad Dar

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, July 30: Two militants including a self-styled ‘commander’ of Jaish-e-Mohammad, who was a co-conspirator in the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, were today killed in an encounter with security forces in Anantnag district, police said.
“Fayaz Panzoo was killed along with his associate in an encounter based on a specific police input at Bijbehara in Anantnag district,” a police official said.
He added Panzoo alias Fayaz Ahmad Thokar alias Hanzulla Bai was a “co-conspirator” of the Pulwama terror attack in which 44 CRPF personnel were martyred by a militant who used a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (IED) to trigger the deadly blast.
Panzoo was also involved in the deadly attack on CRPF personnel at Anantnag town on June 12 in which five CRPF men were killed and SHO Arshad Khan was seriously injured and later succumbed to injuries, the official said.

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The official said Panzoo joined the terror ranks in April, 2018 and was active in the Tral-Awantipora-Bijbehara-Ashmuqam areas adding he was a “most wanted” terrorist as he recruited and motivated youth to join the JeM ranks and executed a number of major terror attacks in the past.
He used to provide logistics to foreign terrorists operating in the Kashmir valley and helped to raise local Over Ground Workers, the official said.
The other slain militant has been identified as Shanu Showket of Bijbehara, he added.
The police official termed the killing of Panzoo as a “big achievement”.
Police said that incriminating material including arms and ammunition were recovered from the site of encounter. “All these materials have been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other terror crimes”, police added.
The bodies of the two militants were handed over of the families late this evening. As the news about killing of Fayaz reached Tral area, youth took to streets and protested. They pelted stones on the security forces, who fired teargas to disperse them.