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5 associates of Hizbul Mujahideen arrested in Kupwara: Police

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Srinagar: Security forces on Thursday busted a module of the Hizbul Mujahideen and arrested five of its “associates” in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, officials said.

A joint team of police and the army apprehended three “terrorist associates” — Abdul Rouf Malik, Altaf Ahmad Payer, and Riyaz Ahmad Lone, officials said.

During questioning, the trio disclosed the location of two hideouts of Hizbul Mujahideen “constructed on the instructions of a Pakistan-based terrorist handler Farooq Ahmad Pir alias Nadeem Usmani, who is presently based in PoK,” officials said.

“One AK rifle, two AK magazines, 119 AK ammunition, one pistol, one pistol magazine, four pistol rounds, six hand grenades, one IED, two detonators, two wire bundles, and one water tank of approximately 100 liter-capacity has been recovered from the hideouts,” officials said.

The arrested persons told the police that they also received Rs 6 lakhs in June to procure arms and ammunition and also material for the construction of hideouts.

“Two more terrorist associates, including Budgam-resident Abdul Majeed Beigh who have been actively supporting the trio in their activities, have also been detained,” they added.

The officials said the terrorist associates were in touch with another PoK-based handler — Fayaz Geelani, also from Budgam.

“The arrested group in addition to providing logistic support, arms, ammunition, and other facilities for the commission of terrorist activities was also tasked to select targets in the valley and also radicalize youth to join terrorist ranks,” they said.

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