HuM 'Div Commdr' among 3 militants killed
13 February 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Excelsior Special Correspondent
Srinagar: Three militants, including a senior commander of Harkat-ul- Mujahideen, have been killed by security forces in two separate gunbattles in Bandipore and Kulgam areas since last evening. Informed sources told the Excelsior that on the basis of a specific information troops of Rashtriya Rifles 14th Bn had laid an ambush at Sumlar in Bandipore area of north Kashmir late last evening. During the operation, troops observed some suspicious movement and signalled a halt. One militant, who had got trapped in the ambush, opened fire which was retaliated by troops. The militant got killed. He was identified as Mohammad Iqbal alias Mugaira, resident of Rawalpindi, Pakistan. SSP Baramulla Mohammad Ashkoor Wani described Mugaira as Harkatul Mujahideen's 'divisional commander'. He said that Mugaira was involved in a number of attacks on Police and security forces besides over a dozen civilians in Bandipore-Sopore belt of north Kashmir. He claimed that Mugaira had operated in Bandipore and Sopore areas for the last five years and he was one of the most wanted militants in Baramulla district. Wani said that Harkatul Mujahideen had suffered a major setback in Mugaira's death at the hands of security forces. Sources said that on yet another specific information, Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police, CRPF 162 Bn and Rashtriya Rifles 01 Bn launched a cordon-and-search operation at Homeshalibugh in Kulgam area of south Kashmir early this morning. During the operation, two militants were found hiding at a residential house. When the militants found themselves under cordon, they ran out of the hideout and made an unsuccessful attempt to escape while firing on the security forces. Police and security forces gunned down both the militants in the open. One of the militants killed was identified as Mohammad Yusuf Bhat alias Dilawar Khan R-o Nandimarg, Damhal Hanjipora and another was identified as Abu Mohammad Muawiya S-o Mohammad Salman R-o Mohalla Rehmanpora, district Sargodha, Pakistan. Two AK-56 rifles, two hand grenades and a wireless set were recovered from the site of encounter. Quoting the Lashkar-e-Toiba spokesman Abu Abdur Rehman, a local news agency identified the slain militants as Abu Assadullah of Sargodha Pakistan and Dilawar Khan of DH Pora. It added that half- a-dozen fake identity cards were recovered in different names from the possession of the slain militants.