Jaish commander killed in encounter in north Kashmir

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Srinagar, Sept 13 (PTI): The Jaish-e-Mohammed suffered a jolt Thursday when security forces killed two of its members, including one of its oldest militants nicknamed ‘Ali’, at Sopore in north Kashmir.

Located 60 kilometers from here, Sopore, the apple town of the Valley, witnessed a heavy exchange of fire early Thursday after police and other security forces cordoned off a house in the Chinkipora area.

There was credible intelligence about the presence of Jaish militants and forces were deployed. The terrorists opened indiscriminate fire, resulting in an encounter. In the gunfight, the security personnel killed Ali alias Athar and Zia-ur-Rehman. They belonged to Pakistan, police said.

Ali, who had infiltrated into the Valley in 2014, was one of the oldest militants of the Jaish-e-Mohammed and was involved in the killing of civilians, attacks on security forces and detonating Improvised Explosive Devices in north Kashmir.

Ali was the mastermind of the IED explosion in January this year in which four policemen were killed, they said. Thirty-seven militants of the Jaish-e-Mohammed have been killed this year. They included Mufti Waqas, the terror group’s chief operation commander, and Mehmood, its north Kashmir commander.

During Thursday’s gunfight, police evacuated civilians from the encounter site to safer areas before engaging the terrorists, they said. Some arms, ammunition and incriminating material were recovered from the the encounter site, a police spokesman said.

Police also recovered fake Aadhaar cards from the killed terrorists which might have been used by the duo to conceal their identity.

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