Anantnag: A militant of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH), the Al Qaeda “affiliate” led by Zakir Musa in Kashmir, was killed in a gunfight with government forces in Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday morning.
The slain militant, Shakir Hassan Dar, son of Ghulam Hassan, resident of Rathsuna village in Tral, was once a close associate of slain Hizb commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani.
Post Wani’s killing, Zakir Rasheed Bhat alias Musa, the new chief of the Hizb, defected from the outfit along with Shakir and some other militants and formed the AGH.
Shakir remained a close associate of Zakir since. He was active since 2015.
The killing of Shakir has come days after Punjab police had issued an alert and claimed that Zakir was sighted somewhere in the northern Indian state.
The operation in Reshipora village of Tral was initiated at about 7:00 PM Monday evening, minutes after an army patrol was fired upon by militants in nearby Pinglish village.
“Several villages were put under strict cordon following the firing,” a local source told Kashmir Reader.
A senior police official confirmed that the operation was launched last evening, following the firing y militants, and searches were conducted in the area.
“This morning, as the house the militant was holed up in was being zeroed in on, there was firing from the militant’s side,” the official said, adding that the fire was retaliated and the militant was killed.
Local sources told Kashmir Reader that at least two houses were damaged as forces used heavy explosives to kill the militant.
“Fire tenders were used to douse the flames emanating from the houses,” the sources said.
Body of the slain was handed over to the family later in the day. Within minutes, thousands of people reached Rathsuna, where several rounds of funeral prayers were held for the slain militant.
Sources told Kashmir Reader that the funeral prayers were held amid intense pro-Islam, Pro-Pakistan, anti-India and pro-Zakir Musa slogans.
The authorities, meanwhile, had curtailed mobile internet services in the area as soon as the gunfight began this morning.