Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists
, including a top commander of the outfit, were killed in a counter-terrorism operation by a joint team of security forces in south Kashmir’s
district on Sunday, IGP Kashmir Zone Vijay Kumar said, citing credible intelligence inputs.
While police are yet to release an official statement confirming the identities and affiliation of the slain terrorists, official sources identified three of them as — top Hizbul commander Farooq Ahmad Nalli from
, who had been active since 2015; Saklain Ahmad Wager from Reben; and Safait Amin Nayak from Babapora. The fourth was a local terrorist while the fifth was probably from Pakistan.
services have been temporarily suspended in Shopian and Kulgam districts as a precautionary measure, IGP Kumar said.
“Based on intelligence inputs about the presence of terrorists in Shopian’s Reben area, a joint team of Army’s 01 RR, CRPF’s 178 Bn and J&K Police’s special operations group launched a cordon-and-search operation there earlier in the day. As the security forces neared the terror hideout, the holed-up terrorists opened fire at the search party, triggering an encounter in which the five were killed,” the IGP said. Arms and ammunition, including three AK-47 rifles, two pistols along with other incriminating material were recovered from the site of the gunfight.
“In case the terrorists’ families want to claim their bodies, they can come forward for identification,” Kumar said while lauding the security forces for carrying out a “clean operation” without any collateral damage. He also urged civilians to cooperate with police till the encounter area is completely sanitized and cleared of all explosive materials.
The same day, Pakistan twice violated the ceasefire along the LoC, targeting forward Indian posts and civilian areas in Baramulla’s Hajipeer sector. The first breach of truce came early on Sunday while the second one followed in the afternoon, said an official.
With Pakistani Rangers resorting to intense firing and heavy shelling, panic gripped border villages in Silikote, Hatlanga, Rustom Mohallah and Nambla areas and residents were seen running for cover to save themselves, Nambla sarpanch Shahid Ahmad said. Confirming the twin breach of truce, Baramulla SSP Abdul Qayoom said there was no loss of life, injury or damage to property suffered so far.