SRI NAGAR: The year 2018 has turned out to be the deadliest in a decade in militancy-hit Jammu and Kashmir, with the highest number of militancy-related incidents and deaths of militants and security forces personnel taking place during the year since 2009. “At least 444 people, including security forces personnel, militants and civilians, were killed this year so far,” a security source said.
“At least 590 militancy-related incidents have been recorded in the state this year so far. In these incidents, 256 militants of different outfits operating in the Valley were killed in anti-militancy operations by security forces within Kashmir and at the Line of Control (LoC),” the source said.
About 25 commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Ansarul Gazwaul Hind (AGH) of Zakir Musa were killed in encounters with security forces this year.
Among the top militants killed were LeT commander Naveed Jhat, who had escaped from police captivity early this year, Meraj-ud-Din Bangroo, Azad Ahmad Malik, Hizb’s Sameer Tiger, Saddam Paddar, Mannan Wani, Jaish chief Masood Azhar’s nephew Usman Haider and AGH’s deputy chief, Soliha Mohammad Akhoon.
The security forces have killed almost all the top commanders of militant outfits in Kashmir after the launch of “Operation All Out” last year. Now only a handful of militant commanders, including Hizb’s Riyaz Naikoo, Albadar’s Zeenat-ul-Islam, and Zakir Musa of AGH are active. Official statistics reveal that 87 security forces personnel died in militancy-related violence in Kashmir this year.
Of the 87 security men killed this year, 45 were policemen. The data further reveal that 101 civilians died in the violence in the state this year. Among the dead civilians were those killed by security forces during clashes near encounter sites, and those shot dead by militants. Some political workers were also shot dead by militants.