Hizbul commander killed in J&K encounter

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PTI

Doda/Jammu

A top Hizbul Mujahideen commander wanted in the killing of a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary and his PSO was killed in a gunfight with security forces in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, officials said.

An Army personnel also lost his life in the five hour-long encounter, which started when the security forces launched a joint search operation in Posta-Potra village in Gundana area, 26 km from Doda town, following information about presence of some terrorists, they said.

The officials said the search operation is going on as security forces are searching the debris of the three-storied house which was raised to the ground during the encounter. “We have recovered the body of a terrorist from the scene of the gunfight so far who was identified as Tahir Ahmad Bhat, a resident of Malangpora village of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. The deceased was a close associate of newly appointed Hizbul Mujahideen operational chief Saifullah and was assigned the task of reviving terrorism in Chenab valley region,” Inspector General of Police, Jammu Zone, Mukesh Singh told reporters in Jammu. 

Describing his killing as a major setback to Hizbul Mujahideen and a big success for the security forces, he said the slain terrorist was part of the group which shot dead an RSS functionary.

 along with his personal security officer in nearby Kishtwar district in April last year. 

He was also behind the fabrication of an IED, which was used in an abortive attempt to target a CRPF convoy at Banihal along the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway in March last year, the officer said.