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JeM chief killed in Poonch encounter

September 05, 2010 19:23 IST

Militant outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Umar Khatab was killed and an army jawan wounded in a fierce gun-battle in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district on Sunday.

Khatab was killed in a gunfight with security forces in Bhatti-Dar area at Mendhar early on Sunday morning, said Brigadier General Staff (16 Coprs) S Dua.

Acting on specific information that some militants were hiding in Bhatti-Dar area, Rashtriya Rifles troops and the police launched a search-and-cordon operation. During the searches, militants fired at security forces, who retaliated and triggered a fierce gun-battle, in which Khatab was killed and an army jawan wounded, Brigadier Dua said.

Khatab had taken over as the JeM head after the killing of its former chiefs, Dawood and Fazal, in separate encounters with security forces in Poonch district last year.

During the gun-battle which was still raging, militant Jabeer and three ultra sympathisers were apprehended.

Two AK rifles, a Chinese pistol, a grenade and Rs 62,000 (Indian currency) were recovered from the scene. Security forces also conducted searches in the Alal forest belt in Rajouri district to flush out militants hiding in the area, said the police.

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