Srinagar: At least 15 militants, ten of whom were local Kashmiris, have been killed since January 1 in Kashmir, the records maintained by the police say.
This figure of the killed militants exceeds that for the same period last year, when eight militants were killed. Another contrast with the year 2016 is that the majority of the militants killed during this period were killed along the border area of Kupwara and they were mainly from Pakistan. This year, the killings have mainly taken place in the hinterland, including in Baramulla, Srinagar and areas of south Kashmir. The bulk of the militants killed this year are local Kashmiris, not Pakistanis.
According to the police data, the first militant killed this year was killed on January 3 in Sopore. He was identified as Abu Umar Khitab of Pakistan.
On January 6, renowned militant commander Muzaffar Ahmad alias Musa Moulvi was killed during a gunfight in the outskirts of Srinagar. Police claimed he was affiliated with Al-Badr militant outfit.
Police claimed to have killed a Lashkar militant on January 10 in north Kashmir’s Hajin area of Bandipore district.
On January 16, three militants affiliated with Lashkar were killed during an encounter with government forces in Awoora village of Pahalgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, the police records say. All the three killed militants were identified as residents of Bejbehara and of Bewoora Srigufwara in Bijbehara. In the police files they were graded as A-category militants, one of them graded as A++ and another as A+.
On January 19, police claimed to have killed a Lashkar militant during a gunfight in Hajin area of Bandipore. He was identified as Abu Musa.
According to the data, the government forces on January 24 killed two Lashkar militants during a gun battle on the outskirts of Srinagar in Hadoora area of Ganderbal district.
On February 4, government forces claimed to have killed two Hizbul Mujahideen-affiliated militants during an encounter in Sopore. The militants were identified as Azhar Khan of Kupwara and Sajjad Ahmed Lone, resident of Eidipora Bomai in Sopore.
The government forces on February 12 claimed to have killed four militants in south Kashmir’s Frisal area of Kulgam. Of the four killed militants, two belonged to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and the other two to Lashkar-e-Toiba, according to the police.
In the first 42 days of the year 2016, eight militants were killed, three in Pampore and five in Chowkibal area of Kupwara, most of them being natives of Pakistan.