In a major success, security forces gunned down a top Hizbul Mujaheedin commander along with two other militants in a gunfight in south Kashmir Anantnag district late Friday afternoon.
Burhan Wani, the top Hizbul Mujaheedin commander was the poster boy of the outfit and was active in south Kashmir.
A senior police officer while confirming the killing of Burhan said that troops of counter insurgency, Rashtriya Rifles and special operations group of the state police jointly surrounded Bamrooda village near Kokernag in Anantnag district late Friday afternoon.
“As the security forces launched searches, hiding militants opened fire triggering an encounter at the end of which three militants, including Burhan were killed.
“This is a major success for security forces who had been in pursuit of the Hizbul Mujaheedin commander,” the officer said.
The Hizbul Mujaheedin outfit had recently released a video of Burhan wherein he had opposed creation of separate colonies for Pandits in the valley.
He had also denied any threat to the ongoing Amarnath yatra from the militants.
Burhan, who carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head, is believed to have taken up the gun to avenge his elder brother’s humiliation by the security forces who made him do squats after picking him up for no crime.
Burhan’s killing comes in the aftermath of the deadly militant strike in Pampore last month that left eight Central Reserve Police Force troopers dead and 20 others wounded.
Others killed along with him were Sartaz, who is a resident of Kokernag area and was believed to have carried out several attacks on police in South Kashmir. The identity of the third is yet to be ascertained.
-- With inputs from PTI