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Youth killed was Hizbul militant: Army

The Army said on Tuesday that the youth killed in an anti-militancy operation in the Tral area of Pulwama district was an overground worker of Hizbul Mujahideen, dismissing claims that he was a civilian.

An Army spokesperson said the encounter in Buchoo forest area took place when a patrol party of the security forces came under fire from militants on Monday.

“One soldier suffered a gun shot. The fire fight ensued with terrorists. Once the firing subsided, search of the area was undertaken from which a body, along with two AK-47 rifles and war-like stores, were recovered. Later, the body was identified to be of listed overground worker Khalid Wani, brother of Burhan, Hizbul Mujahideen Commander, South Kashmir,” the spokesperson said.

He said of the two AK-47 rifles recovered from the site, one was snatched from a policeman on August 8 last year.“Three youths were also arrested from the area. Consequent to their questioning, it was learnt that Khalid had taken them with him to the place where Burhan and three other terrorists were hiding. Khalid left three youths little away from where he was meeting Burhan,” he said.

The spokesperson said when the patrol party was fired upon, the youth ran towards the area where Army soldiers were located.

“They were allowed to move out of the site to safety. Later, the police apprehended them,” he said, adding the operation is still on to nab militants at large.

Protests erupted in Tral as residents alleged that Khalid was innocent had no links with militancy.  Over two dozen people were injured in clashes between security forces and stone-pelting protestors in Pulwama on Tuesday, police said.

“Security forces used batons and tear smoke shells to quell the mob. Two dozen security men and protestors were injured in the clashes,” police said.

Yasin Malik detained

Senior separatist leaders Yasin Malik and Masrat Alam were detained on Tuesday. “JKLF chief Yasin Malik and Masrat Alam were detained at Awantipora (Pulwama) today while they were on way to Tral,” a senior police officer said. The officer said the two were detained separately to maintain law and order.
M Post Bureau

M Post Bureau

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