Hizb Operational Chief killed in Shopian gunfight

Kashmir operational commander of Hizbul Mujahideen and one of the longest serving militants Yasin Yatoo alias Mehmood Ghaznavi was killed in the 16 hour gunfight that erupted in South Kashmir’s Astan Mohalla area of Awanura village in Zainpora Shopian. The encounter also left two of his associated and two army men killed while four soldiers including a Captain were injured. 

Police confirmed that it was presumed that Adil Malik along with Umar and Irfan were killed in fierce gunfight at Awneera in Shopian that raged last evening.

However, after recovering the bodies from the debris, it was identified as that of Muhammad Yasin Yatoo alias Mehmood Ghaznavi, the operational commander of Hizbul Mujahideen in Kashmir. Yatoo, is a resident of Chadoora in Budgam district and first joined militancy in year 1997 after crossing over to other side of the Line of Control.

A police spokesman said that acting on a specific information, Shopian police along with 03 RR, 14 Bn and 177 Bn CRPF launched a cordon and search operation at Awneera village in Zainapora, Shopian. During the search operation, militants hiding in the area fired upon the joint search party. The fire was retaliated, ensuing an encounter.

Three HM militants were killed in the encounter. The slain militants were identified as Irfan-ul-Haq resident of Maldara Zainapora and Umar Majeed Mir resident of Kulgam. The identity of the third militant is being ascertained, police said earlier. Later the killing of Yatoo was confirmed by police.

The spokesman said that arms and ammunition was recovered from the encounter site.

Five army personnel were injured during the encounter who were shifted to hospital for treatment. Among the injured, two army personnel succumbed to their injuries and achieved martyrdom.

The slain militants were involved in many anti national and unlawful activities, the spokesman added.

He said that Umer Majeed Mir was involved in grenade attack on security forces at Yaripora and many firing incidents including Yaripora and Kanjikullah. He was also involved in bank robbery case of PS Yaripora.

Irfan-ul-Haq was involved in many cases including grenade attacks and firing on security personnel. He along with this associates was involved in the killing of shopkeeper resident of Heff and Adv. Imtiyaz Ahmad Khan resident of Pinjora. He was involved in attack on guards of MLA Shopian and MLC Showkat Ahmad. He was also involved in firing on Bn Hqrs IRP 18th Bn Reshipora and on Army party at Moolu Chitragam.

At the time of withdrawal of the CASO party from the encounter site, the militants fired indiscriminately upon army vehicles in which one person namely Mohammad Syed of Shopian was injured. He was shifted to hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, DGP, Jammu and Kashmir, S P Vaid confirmed the death of three militants.

He said that a combing operation is on at the site of the gunfight that started late last night. Two army men were killed and four injured in the initial phase of firing last night.

Police sources said that Captan Suham, Sepoy Shiva, Sepoy Prakash Yadav, Spoy Gawai Sumedo and Sepoy Alaie Raja got injured and out of the injured five men Alaie Raja and Gawai Semedo succumbed to their injuries.

Pertinently, Umar alias Usman and Irfan Sheikh are being laid to rest at their ancestral Villages, Kaatpora Yaripora Kulgam and Maldera Zainapora Shopian respectively.

Several rounds of funeral prayers were held at both places.


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