Jaish Commdr Killed In Rafiabad Encounter

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Srinagar, Nov 24: A top commander of Jaish-e-Muhammad militant out was killed while a police official was injured in an encounter in the north Kashmir district of Baramulla in the wee hours of Saturday, official sources said.

Police said a joint operation was launched by the army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles and special operations group of state police at Chitloora in Rafiabad area last night following a tip off about the presence of JeM divisional commander, identified as Yasir alias Yasir Tunda, operating there for the past six years under codenames, including Showkat, Shoaib, Shehzeb. He was a Pakistani national.

After evacuating the inmates, security forces zeroed in on the house of Ali Muhammad Bhat son of Abdul Gaffar Bhat triggering an exchange of fire in which Yasir was killed and a sub-inspector of SoG identified as Dilraj Singh was wounded, police said.  

Claiming Yasir’s killing as a major achievement, police said he had been active in north Kashmir for the past 10 years. After operating in the border district of Kupwara, he had shifted his base to Rafiabad area of Baramulla district and was involved in the killing of  Peoples Democratic Party’s Sopore zonal president, Ghulam Muhammad Mir, at Ladoora in 2008 and of the National Conference activist, Ghulam Mohiuddin Bhat, at Chitloora, earlier.

Yasir had infiltrated into the valley in 2002 and had taken over the leadership of the outfit after the death of its chief commander, Qari Hammad in an encounter on Foreshore road in Dal lake of Srinagar last year.

Police said a laptop, an AK-47 assault rifle and one Chinese pistol were recovered from the encounter spot.

Reports quoting sources said Yasir, along with two of his associates, had recently escaped from a cordon-and-search operation at Divar (Lolab) in Kupwara district. Mostly operating in Lolab, he had been active in north Kashmir districts of Kupwara and Baramulla. Observer News Service

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