Militant, Soldier Killed in Kulgam Shootout

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Kulgam: A militant and an army soldier were killed in separate shootouts in Yaripora area of south Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Monday afternoon.

Official sources said an army patrol was attacked by militants at Kanjikulla in Yaripora. The militants fired heavily on army pertsonnel resulting in injuries to two soldiers of 1 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) unit, they said.

The injured soldiers were immediately rushed to hospital. “However, one of the injured soldiers identified as Sepoy Dharam Ram succumbed to his injuries later.

In the meanwhile, the government forces, including army and police’s Special Operation Group cordoned off whole area and launched searches for the attackers.

As the searches were in progress, the militants fired upon them again triggering a brief firefight which resulted in the killing of a Lashkar-e-Taiba commander. An army spokesman identified the slain commander as Ayatollah Bhat alias Khomeini. 

The militant is a resident of Chinigam in Kulgam.

Khomeini was functioning as District Commander of Lashkar and was active since 2010. Police said he was involved in various militant activities, including killing of Sarpanch Gul Mohammad resident of Hawoora in 2012, killing and snatching of weapons from police and CRPF in Arwani and Awneera Shopian. He was also involved in the  killing of Zakir Syed Bhat in Sangas, Kulgam.

Khomeini, police said, was a close associate of LeT Divisional Commander Abu Qasim was also instrumental in recruiting many youth into militancy including Abass Malla and Zubair Bhat.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (Operations) Tanveer Jeelani said a militant and a soldier were killed in the firefight. He said another soldier is injured and is undergoing treatment at hospital. The senior officer said an AK 47 Rifle, two magazines, a pouch and a diary and some medicines were recovered from the possession of slain.

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