Three Hardcore Miltants Among Nine Killed
22 August 2005
Srinagar: Three hardcore militants, including a self-styled district commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and three members of a family were among nine persons killed in Jammu and Kashmir, where a major tragedy was averted with detection of a powerful improvised explosive device in Anantnag district today, a police spokesman said. The IED, weighing 20 kgs, was planted by militants on the main road at Khudwani in Kulgam area in south Kashmir's Anantnag district and was detected by security forces during patrolling, the spokesman said. The IED was neutralised by the bomb disposal squad, foiling ultras' plan to set off a massive blast, he said. The spokesman said self-styled district commander of JeM for Pulwama Ghulam Mohammad Rather alias Bashir 'langda' was killed along with his close associate Syed Faizan during a gunfight at Ashmandar in Pulwama district last night. Both the militants were locals, he said adding, a substantial quantity of arms and ammunition were recovered from them. Rather, an expert in making IEDs, was involved in several attacks on political activists and security forces including the deadly car bomb attack at Nishat in the city on June 24, which killed nine army jawans and injured over a dozen others. A top militant of Hizbul Mujahideen, Mushtaq Ahmad Tantray, was killed in a fierce gunbattle with security forces at Salleh village in Anantnag district today, he said. Tantray, active for the past many years in the south Kashmir region, was killed in the exchange of fire after security forces laid a cordon around the village following a tip-off, the spokesman said. Militants raided the house of a Village Defence Committee member Mohammad Ishaq at Udhan Phera village of Budhal in Rajouri district in the wee hours today and fired indiscriminately on the inmates, the spokesman said. Ishaq, aged 28, his elder brother Shaheen (30) and 70-year-old father Alam Din were killed in the firing, he said adding, the ultras fled from the spot and a hunt has been launched to nab them. Police recovered the body of 25-year-old Mohammad Ashraf Gujjar from Glarsoo in Ramban area of Doda district last night, the spokesman said adding Gujjar, a resident of Dumbki Sumbard, had been abducted and later killed by militants. Militants also kidnapped a taxi driver Maroof Ahmad Rather from his house at Litter village of Pulwama district alongwith his vehicle last night, the spokesman said. He said the man was taken to nearby Hafshirmal by his abductors and shot dead this morning. His vehicle was also set ablaze by the ultras. Another body with bullet marks was recovered by police from Khurnar village of Rajouri district this morning, he said. Two pistol-borne militants intruded into the house of one Abdul Salam Yatoo at Diyan in Qazigund area of Anantnag district last night and decamped with Rs 10,000 and some gold ornaments, the spokesman said. He said security forces recovered a hand-grenade and 22 AK rounds from a hideout at Zazbal-Lam in Tral area of Pulwama district today.