Seven hardcore militants, including a self-styled district commander of al-Badr outfit, were among nine persons killed and a security jawan injured in Jammu and Kashmir since Sunday night as fierce gun battles rocked different parts of the state.
District Commander of al-Badr Qasim Bhai was killed along with his close associate in an encounter with Central Reserve Police Force troops at Wanigund near the famous Harwan Mughal garden, 23 km from Srinagar on Monday afternoon, CRPF Inspector General A P Maheshwari told PTI.
Acting on a tip off, he said troops of the 112 battalion of the CRPF launched a search operation in the area and confronted two heavily-armed militants who tried to escape by resorting to firing resulting in serious injuries to a jawan.
The troops retaliated killing both militants. Two AK assault rifles, two pistols and a number of grenades were recovered from them, the CRPF officer said. Meanwhile, the over 12-hour encounter between militants and security forces at Gamru in Bandipora, 55 km from Srinagar, in Baramulla district, ended on Monday morning with the killing of two militants of Lashker-e-Tayiba outfit, a defence spokesman said.
The ultras were killed at day break when the operation, launched jointly by army, Border Security Force and local police, was resumed to flush out the militants who changed their positions continuously after the gun battle broke out in the village at around 3.30 pm on Sunday, the spokesman said.
The ultras took shelter for several hours inside a mosque on Sunday evening but later shifted to an adjacent house where they were finally killed, he said, adding that the mosque suffered no damages during the prolonged encounter. However, eight residential houses were gutted during the fierce gun battle in which an army jawan was killed and two others were injured, official sources said.
The deceased militants have been identified as Abu Ali and Abu Qasim alias Huraira, both Pakistani nationals. Two AK rifles and some ammunition were recovered from them. The sources said the cordon around the village was lifted on Monday afternoon when a thorough search of the entire village was completed.
In another encounter, security forces shot dead two unidentified militants in an ongoing operation at Darhal in Rajouri district on Monday. The operation was still continuing and further details are awaited, they said. Security forces shot dead a self-styled deputy district commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, Tariq Usman alias Wafadar in an encounter at village Sherkhi in Bhaderwah area of Doda district on Sunday night.
An AK rifle, three magazines, seven rounds and an HM letter pad were recovered from Wafadar who hailed from dandi-bhaderwah and had been active in the area since 1998. The sources said militants shot dead one Saif-ud-din at village Dufah in Doda district, while the decomposed body of one Abdul Rashid Dar was recovered from Bijhama village of Kupwara district on Monday morning.