Valley erupts as Burhan Wani successor Bhat gunned down

Sabzar Ahmad Bhat among three terrorists killed in encounter with police; locals’ bid to create escape route for militants foiled; Kashmir on the edge.

Published: 28th May 2017 04:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th May 2017 04:51 AM   |  A+A-

Youth attacks a police vehicle amid tear smoke fired by police during violent clashes | PTI

Express News Service

SRINAGAR: THE militant group Hizbul Mujahideen suffered a major jolt on Saturday after security forces killed Burhan Wani’s successor Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, along with his associate, in a gunfight in the volatile Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district. A civilian was killed during clashes between protestors and security personnel in the area, after the gunfight.

Three militants, including Sabzar, who were trapped inside a house they were hiding in fired on security forces. “The security personnel returned fire and in the ensuing gunfight, which continued till Saturday morning, two Hizbul militants were killed,” a police official said.
The slain militants were identified as Sabzar and his associate Faizan Muzaffar. Sources said one of the holed-up militants managed to escape during the course of the gunfight.

The locals made desperate attempts during the encounter to march towards the site and pave the way for militants to escape. However, the villagers were intercepted by police and paramilitary personnel, who fired tear smoke shells and resorted to baton charge.

After the gunfight ended, the villagers of Sabzar’s native Rathsun village, a few hundred metres from the encounter site, marched towards the house and clashed with security personnel, who fired live ammunition towards them. Four people sustained bullet injuries, and were evacuated to a nearby hospital, where one of them, ide­ntified as Aqib Ahmad, succumbed to injuries.

Mobile and internet services suspended
Mobile and internet services were suspended in Kashmir Valley as a precautionary measure in the wake of killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat in an encounter with security forces in Tral. However, BSNL broadband service was functioning normally, officials said

Six militants killed in Rampur sector
The army foiled a major infiltration bid on Saturday along the Line of Control in Rampur sector of Kashmir, killing six militants. Troops noticed suspicious movement along the LoC in Rampur sector in the early hours, an army official said. A search operation is on



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