Militant commander, associate killed in gunfight in Indian-controlled Kashmir

09:22, June 28, 2011      

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Two militants including a divisional commander of Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit were killed and two Indian army troopers were wounded in a fierce gunfight Monday in Indian-controlled Kashmir, officials said.

Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) is the region's leading indigenous militant group.

The gunfight broke out late Sunday in village Koel-Shikargah of Tral town in district Pulwama, 50 km south of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Officials said the gunfight broke out after contingents of army and police cordoned the area on specific intelligence inputs, to carry out searches.

"Two militants of HM including a divisional commander were killed in a gunfight today," said a police official. "The militants were holed up in a residential house."

The slain militants were identified as Muzaffar Malla and Suhail Khan. Malla was stated to be divisional commander of HM, while Khan was a local cadre of the outfit.

"Our two soldiers also suffered minor wounds in the gunfight," said Brigader J.V. Prasad to the reporters near the gunfight site.

A residential house belonging to Mohammed Yosuf Bhat was also damaged in the exchange of fire between militants and contingents of police and army. Police said the militants were firing from inside the Bhat's house.

Police and Defence officials maintain most of the times the operations triggering gunfights are carried out on prior information about presence of militants in specific areas.

Police also claims recovery of two assault rifles and one UBGL from the encounter site.

A guerrilla war is also going on between militants and the Indian troops stationed in the region since 1989. Gun fighting between militants and Indian army troops in Indian-controlled Kashmir took place intermittently.

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