Six militants including Zakir Musa's aide gunned down in south Kashmir encounter

The encounter ensued when security forces came under heavy fire from militants hiding there, they said, adding one militant has been killed.

Published: 22nd December 2018 09:49 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2018 06:22 AM   |  A+A-

Soldiers during an encounter with militants at Sirnoo in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on 16 December 2018. (Photo | PTI)

Soldiers during an encounter with militants in south Kashmir. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: Al Qaeda’s Kashmir cell Ansar Ghazwatul Hind (AGH) was dealt a severe blow on Saturday, with security forces killing six militants of the Zakir Musa-led outfit, including its deputy chief, in Pulwama district of south Kashmir.

Based on intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in Awantipora area of the district, the police, CRPF and army launched a cordon and search operation early on Saturday, a police official said. During the operation, the personnel came under heavy firing from militants hiding in the region.

“The troops returned the fire, and in the ensuing gunfight, which went on for nearly three hours, six militants of the AGH were killed,” the official added. Arms and ammunition, including rifles, were recovered from the site of encounter.

The deceased were identified as Soliha Mohammad Akhoon, Faisal, Nadeem Ahmad Sofi, Rasiq Mir, Rouf, and Umar, all residents of Tral in Pulwama district.

Soliha was the deputy chief of the AGH and an active militant since 2015.

“He was involved in many attacks on security forces,” said a police official, adding that the other slain militants were also part of several incidents of violence in south Kashmir.

The bodies were handed over to their legal heirs after the completion of medico-legal formalities, and later in the day, thousands of people attended funeral prayers for the slain militants at their respective hometowns and chanted pro-freedom, pro-Zakir Musa and anti-India slogans.

Speaking about the encounter, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir S P Pani told this newspaper that the six militants killed were key operatives of the AGH.

“It is a severe jolt to the Zakir Musa-led faction,” he added, highlighting that no collateral damage was sustained in the encounter. Zakir Musa, a close aide of former Hizb commander Burhan Wani, had rebelled against the Hizbul Mujahideen, and now heads the AGH. His group comprises not more than two dozen militants, police officials said.

6 CRPF men injured in grenade attack

Militants threw a grenade at a CRPF patrol party at Arwani in Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Saturday, injuring six personnel of the CRPF. The attack took place during an incident of stone-pelting in the area, a police official said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp