Top Al Badr commander, 3 guerrillas killed in Kashmir (Lead)

January 28th, 2009 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Jan 28 (IANS) Four separatist guerrillas, including a top commander of Al-Badr terror outfit, and two soldiers were killed in three separate gunfights in the Kashmir Valley Wednesday, the police said. Abu Hamza, the operational commander of the Al-Badr, and a trooper of the 52 Rashtriya Rifles were killed in a fierce gunfight in Amargarh village of north Kashmir Sopore town, over 50 km from here, the police said.

Hamza was a notorious guerrilla wanted in many terror related activities and was initially associated with the Lashkar-e-Taiba “but had later established himself as the operational commander of the Al-Badr”, a police officer told IANS.

Officials discounted reports that Hamza was involved in the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.

Two terrorists of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit were gunned down in another shootout which erupted in Hyatmula village of north Kashmir Bandipora district, nearly 55 km from here.

Troopers and the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the police surrounded a house in Hyatmula following specific information about the presence of guerrillas there.

“The hiding militants were challenged to surrender, following which they opened indiscriminate fire,” a police officer said.

“One soldier of the 57 Rashtriya Rifles died in the gunfight, at the end of which two militants were killed,” the police officer added.

“The slain militants were foreigners belonging to the JeM,” the officer said.

Searches at the shootout site would resume Thursday to conclude the operation.

In the third gunfight that occurred in north Kashmir Kupwara district, around 100 km from here, a militant was killed by the security forces after he fired upon the surrounding security men in the area. Two houses were damaged during the Kupwara gunfight, a police officer said.

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