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Harkatul Mujaheedin chief killed in encounter

By Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
March 08, 2007 00:30 IST
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Chief commander of Harkatul Mujaheedin outfit was among the two top militants eliminated in a gunbattle in northern Kupwara district on Wednesday.

Acting on specific information, a joint party of the Para regiment of the army and the Jammu and Kashmir police laid an ambush in a forest area at Takipora Lolab, in the border district of Kupwara, 115 kms from Srinagar.

"Two Harkatul Mujaheedin militants were trapped in the ambush and were challenged to surrender. Instead the two heavily armed militants responded with indiscriminate automatic fire on the surrounding troops resulting in an encounter in which both the militants were killed on the spot," a police spokesman said on Wednesday.

The spokesman identified the slain militants as Abu Shaheen alias Shaheen Afghani and Tahir Saqib.

"One of the slain militants, Abu Shaheen was the chief commander of the Harkatul Mujaheedin outfit," the spokesman said.

He said arms and ammunition, including two AK-47 rifles were recovered from the slain militants.

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar