2017: 331 people killed during 11 months

Srinagar: With the killing of four militants in Futlipora area of Budgam and one foreign militant in Sopore forest, the number of militants killed this year has reached more than 200. In addition to this 77 security forces personnel and 54 civilians also lost their lives to the gunfights between militants and government forces till December 1.

The number of militants killed is the second highest since 2010. 270 militants were killed in 2010 along with 69 government forces personnel and 36 civilians.

“Today by the collective effort of @JmuKmrPolice, Indian Army, @crpfindia, CAPF & people of Kashmir have lead to neutralisation of more than 200 terrorists in the year of 2017 alone. This marks a huge landmark for establishing peace and stability in the state of J&K and our country,” Director General of Police Shesh Paul Vaid wrote on Twitter.

Security experts believe that the ‘operation all out’ launched this year has proved to be a major deterrent for militants to mark their presence lik they did during the past two years.

According to the reports, as many as 258 militants were shortlisted for “Operation All-Out” that was launched strategically in the month of June.

Prime locations of militant activities were mapped well before the exercise got a go-ahead, the report revealed.

The report by a New Delhi based news channel quoting intelligence inputs said that as many as 130 local and 128 foreign militants have been identified as potential targets in the ‘Operation All Out’.

“They belong to different groups, such as Lashkar, Jaish, Hizbul and Al- Badr,” the report explained.

Before the launch of ‘Operation All Out’, security forces had nearly killed at least 80 militants till June 30. While as 40 security forces personnel and 28 civilians were also killed during the first six months of the year.

On January 3, first foreign militant was killed when government forces laid an ambush at Haritar area of Sopore in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district. Abu Umar Khitab, a Pakistani militant was killed and government forces recovered one AK 47 rifle, one hand grenade, three magazines, 70 AK ammunition rounds, one I-com set, one compass, one bag and one torch was recovered from his possession.

On May 1, five Policemen including an ASI and two Bank security guards were killed when militants attacked a J&K Bank van in Kulgam District. The J&K Bank mobile van carrying cash in the Kulgam District was attacked by militants near Bomai village of the District. The gunmen decamped with four INSAS and one AK 47 rifle.

Militant outfit HM claimed the responsibility for the attack. However, it said that they killed five Policemen and not the bank guards. “They were killed by CRPF men,” it claimed and said that the attack was not aimed at looting cash.

On May 26, government forces, in an encounter, killed HM ‘commander’, Sabzar Ahmad Bhat and his aide Faizan Muzaffar in Soimoh village of Tral in Pulwama District. One civilian was also killed in the cross firing.

A civilian, identified as Aqib Ahmad Dar was also killed in ‘cross firing’ near the encounter site.

On May 30, the Army released a list of the 12 most ‘dreaded’ militants in J&K. Among the most prominent names in the list are Reyaz Naikoo alias Zubair and Zakir Rashid Bhat alias Musa.

On July 1 Lashkar commander Bashir Ahmad Wani alias Bashir Lashkari and his associate, identified as Azad Ahmad Malik alias Dada along with two civilians, identified as Tahira Begum and Shadab were killed in a fierce encounter in Dailgam village in Anantnag District.

Unidentified gunmen attacked the annual Amarnath pilgrimage bus killing seven pilgrims from Gujarat, including six women and injured 32 others in Anantnag District on July 10.

Later, IGP Kashmir Range, Muneer Ahmad Khan said that the attack was carried out by the LeT and was masterminded by a Pakistani militant Ismail.

On July 12, three HM militants were killed in an encounter in Radbugh village in Budgam District. The slain militants were identified as Javid Sheikh, Dawood Ahmad Sofi and Aaquib Gul.

During the intervening night of August 12-13, Government forces killed Hizb commander Yasin Ittoo alias Mehmood Ghaznavi along with his two associates in Awnera village of Shopian District. Two army personnel were also killed in the encounter.

Ittoo was oldest surviving militant in Valley who joined HM in 1996 and was arrested in 2007 and later released on parole in 2014 after remaining in jail for seven years. He joined the militant group again and was the ‘commander’ of the outfit.

On August 1, two top LeT militants, identified as LeT Kashmir ‘head’ Abu Dujana alias Hafiz and another LeT militant Arif Lilhaari were killed during a fierce encounter in Pulwama District. Dujana was the LeT’s divisional commander and reportedly hailed from northern Pakistan.

On November 18, six LeT militants including the nephew of Mumbai attacks mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, and a Garud commando of the IAF was killed in an encounter at Chandergeer village in Hajin area of Bandipora District.

According to SATP data, a total of 44,059 persons, including 14,635 civilians, 6,265 SF personnel and 2,3159 militants were killed in various militant-related incidents in J&K from 1990 to March 31, 2017.

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