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JK: Hizb chief's close aide arrested

July 14, 2008 11:36 IST

Two militants, including a close confidant of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, were arrested in Jammu and Kashmir's [Images] Rajouri district, official sources said.

Acting on a tip off, security personnel conducted search operations at Chingus on Rajouri-Jammu highway last night and arrested the outfit's coordination commander Abdul Rasheed Bhat along with an accomplice Mustaq Hussain when they were going to their house in Doda district, they said.

An AK rifle, three magazines, 90 rounds and Rs 1 lakh were recovered from their possession, the sources said, adding that the two are being interrogated.

Bhat enjoys second place after the outfit supremo and he is also the most trusted man of United Jehad Council chief, they said.

He joined militancy in 1998 as a recruit in Doda, later went to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. He was trained at Bhimber militant camp and Khost (Afghanistan), the sources said.

He became close confidant of Hizb supremo and was made the coordinating commander of the outfit, they said, maintaining that he also headed three training camps in Muzaffrabad, Bhimber and Rawalakote during his 10-year stay in PoK.

Bhat coordinated affairs of the outfit, including transfer of funds, arms and facilitating infiltration of armed militants in Jammu and Kashmir, they said.

In 2006-2007, the UJC chief had sent him to J&K to conduct recruitments, intensify militant activities and strengthen district and divisional units of the outfit, they added.

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