Hizbul commander, two militants killed in J&K; Doda now ‘militancy free’

The operation turned into an encounter after the militants fired upon a search party of the forces, who retaliated.

Three militants including a commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in a major encounter with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Monday (June 29), police said.

Hizbul Mujahideen commander Masood Ahmed Bhat and two terrorists were eliminated in the operation in the Khulchohar area of the south Kashmir district. One AK rifle and two pistols were also recovered from the encounter site.

With Masood eliminated, police officials say that the entire Doda district in Jammu region has become totally free of terrorists as he was one of the last surviving terrorists there.

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J&K police chief Dilbagh Singh took to Twitter to announce the news, and said that, “Doda district in Jammu Zone becomes totally militancy free one again.”

“Masood was involved in a rape case filed by Doda police and was on the run ever since. He later joined Hizbul Mujahideen and shifted his area of operation to Kashmir,” he added.

The security forces launched a cordon and search operation at Khul Chohar in the south Kashmir district following information about the presence of militants in the area, a police official said. The operation turned into an encounter after the militants fired upon a search party of the forces, who retaliated, the official said. The operation had been jointly launched by the Army, J&K police, and CRPF.

Last week, state police chief Dilbag Singh had claimed that over 100 terrorists had been neutralised in Jammu and Kashmir this year.

“During the last about five-and-a-half months, over 100 terrorists have been neutralised, out of them 50 plus were from the Hizbul Mujahideen, around 20 from the Lashkar-e-Taiba, 20 from the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the rest from smaller outfits like Al-Badr, Ansar Gazwatul Hind,” Mr Singh said.

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