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Top Hizb commander killed in Kupwara

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Srinagar: A top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen was killed in an encounter with security forces in Kupwara district of north Kashmir on Wednesday, police said.

Giving details of the incident, a police spokesman said Hizbul Mujahideen group commander Mehrajuddin Halwai alias Ubaid was apprehended during routine vehicle checking at Watyen in Ganders area of Kupwara district on Tuesday evening.

“During his personal search one grenade was recovered from his possession. Accordingly, he was immediately shifted to nearest police post for questioning. During questioning, he identified himself as Mehrajuddin Halwai @ Ubaid, an active militant commander of proscribed militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen,” the spokesman said.

He said on Halwai’s disclosure, multiple cordon and search operations (CASO) were launched by security forces.

At village area Pazipora Renan Kralgund, Handwara, when CASO was started, the said Halwai tried to pinpoint the location where he has kept his arms and ammunition.

“Upon reaching at the disclosed hideout location, the said Halwai picked up his hidden AK-47 rifle and started firing indiscriminately upon the joint search party which led to an encounter. In the ensuing fire-fight the said terrorist got killed,” the spokesman said.

He said incriminating material, arms and ammunition including one AK-47, four magazines, power bank, blanket and medicines were recovered from the hideout at the encounter site.

As per police records, the said Halwai was a categorised A++ militant and was group commander of proscribed outfit HM. “He was active since 2012 and was involved in several killings in north Kashmir”.

Police spokesman he had a long history of being involved in militancy activities “including attacks on police, security forces and civilian atrocities” and several cases were registered against him.

The spokesman said the slain militant was well acquainted with modern means of communication by which he would communicate with other militants and plan and execute different activities on ground.

He was “instrumental in motivating and recruitment of youth” into militant ranks besides raising funds for promotion of militant activities, the spokesman said.

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