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Top LeT commander among 2 militants, minor boy killed as Hajin gunfight ends

Suhail Khan

Srinagar, Mar 21: Two militants, of them a top commander of Lashker-eToiba, and a minor boy were killed during a gunfight in Hajin area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Friday.

Reports reaching news agency said a joint team of Army’s 13RR, CRPF and SOG launched a cordon at Mir Mohalla of Hajin late in the afternoon yesterday.

A police officer said the operation was launched following credible inputs about the presence of some militants in the area.

As the joint team of forces approached the suspected house, the hiding militants fired upon government forces, triggering off an encounter. The operation was suspended for the night and resumed at the crack of the dawn.

Both the militants were killed in the encounter, he said. The teenage boy who was taken “hostage” also died.

SSP Bandipora Rahu Malik confirmed the killing of two militants and the minor boy during the gunfight.

He had said family and members of local Auqaf committee and a magistrate were brought to the encounter site to persuade the hiding militants to release the those “taken hostage by them”.

While one of the two hostage, a minor girl, was evacuated by the joint team of government forces, minor boy identified as Atif Mir died. Official sources said that the house belong to Abdul Hamid Mir was razed to rubble and all the three bodied were charred.

Police and army also recovered two Ak-47 rifles. Among the two militants killed, oe of them is said to be ‘Ali Bhai’, a top commander of LeT whoch was active in the area for several years. However, the identity and group affiliation of the slain militants was not official confirmed so far.

Army spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia in a statement issued to news agency said that two militants were killed in the encounter.

“Bodies of the slain militants along with weapons and warlike stores recovered,” the spokesman said, adding that search operation in the area is still in progress. (GNS)

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