Lashkar militants appear in Hajin, deny hand in civilian killings

Lashkar militants appear in Hajin, deny hand in civilian killings
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Hajin: Two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants surfaced in a Hajin locality on Thursday night and denied involvement in the last two civilian killings in the town.
A local militant ​Saleem Ahmad Parray appeared along with a foreign militant in Khos Mohalla when people were coming out to offer Taraveeh prayers.
Last week a shutdown was observed in the town against civilian killings after unknown gunmen slit the throat of one Mohammad Yaqoob Wagay in front of his wife and kids on 25th May in Prang, Hajin.
It was the sixth civilian killing in the area in two months of April and May.
Following the shutdown, Lashkar-e-Toiba, came out with a video denying its involvement in the civilian killing.
On Thursday evening, local sources said that unknown gunmen tried to barge into a residential house at Shukur Din Mohalla. However, the hue and cry raised by the family forced the men to escape from the spot.
Meanwhile, in Khos Mohalla, as the locals came out to offer night prayers at around 9:30 pm, two Lashkar militants appeared in public.
The locals identified one of them as Saleem Parray, a local militant who joined the LeT in 2017, soon after the Mehboob Bhai group of six militants were killed in Chandergeer.
Top security brass had termed the killings as the wiping out of LeT in Hajin.
Local sources said that a crowd gathered around the two militants as soon as people spotted them.
The militants addressed the crowd and denied hand in killing of Mohammad Yaqoob Wagay and Hilal Ahmad Parray, witnesses said.
The militants marched through the streets and lanes of the town for hours together, they said.
Locals heard them saying that the unknown gunmen who were killing civilians are not LeT men “but the work of Indian agencies.”
Advising the locals especially youth to remain alert in nabbing these men, they said that “hand them over to us if caught.”
Parray also fired few gunshots in the air before disappearing from the spot.
Five gunmen had barged into Yaqoob’s house in Preng Hajin on 25 May and slit his throat in front of his wife and seven-year-old kid. Yaqoob’s killing had enraged public to the extent that they followed it with shutdown and protests the other day.
Eariler on 17 May, another youth Hilal Ahmad Parray was picked up from his home by unknown men at Parray Mohalla during wee hours and his body was found in a nearby apple orchard with severe torture marks and hands tied.
Police has named Saleem Parray as the main accused in carrying out civilian killings in the area.