Top Al-Badr commander Zeenat among 2 militants killed in Kulgam gunfight

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Srinagar: Two militants of Al Badr including its top commander in Kashmir were killed in an encounter with government forces at Katpora area of Kulgam district in south Kashmir on Saturday.

A joint team of army’s 34 RR, SOG and CRPF laid a siege to Katpora area of Yaripora at around 5:30 pm.

An army officer told GNS that soon after government forces reached the suspected spot in the village, a group of militants believed to be three in number while trying to escape from the cordoned off area opened fire triggering firefight.

“In the gunfight which lasted for some time in an open field, two militants were killed and the operation has been suspended as of now in wake of darkness,” he said.

According to him the bodies of slain militants are lying on the ground near the encounter site and are yet to be recovered.

“The operation was launched in the area following the specific inputs about the presence of the group of militants led by Zeenat ul Islam Shah alias Dr Usman,” the officer said, adding that so far it appears that Zeenat has been “gunned down.”

The second militants have been identified as Shakeel Ahmad Dar alias Faisal of Chilipora, Shopian. Zeenat was earlier affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen outfit and later he joined Al Badr militant outfit. Following the gunfight, authorities snapped internet services in the Kulgam district.