Srinagar: Hizbul Mujahideen today suffered a
severe blow as three top militants of the outfit, including a
self-styled divisional commander and a battalion commander
hiding in a house, were killed in a gun battle with security
forces in Pulwama district of South Kashmir.
Acting on a tip off provided by the local police, a joint
team of police, 44 Rashtriya Rifles of the army and CRPF
cordoned Drubgam village in Rajpora, 45 kms from here, police
They said the militants hiding in a house opened fire on
the security forces prompting them to retaliate in which all
the three ultras were killed.
They identified the slain militants as Lateef Dedeer,
a divisional commander, Rafiq Ahmad Gujri, a battalion
commander and their bodyguard Munir Ahmad.
Lateef Dedeer, was the most wanted militant, as he had
deserted special operations group (SOG) of local police along
with weapons seven months ago and joined Hizbul Mujahideen.
The outfit rewarded him for joining its ranks by giving
him the post of divisional commander, the sources said.
They said two AK 47 rifles, two pistols and a pouch were
recovered from the site of the encounter. The house of Abdul
Rashid Khan where the militants were hiding was damaged during
the encounter, they said.
Minutes after the operation was over, another gunbattle
broke out between militants and security forces in the nearby
village Yugershar, the sources said.
They said police, assisted by troops of 55 Rashtriya
Rifles, 182 battalion of CRPF cordoned the village following
specific information about the presence of militants in the
house of Ghulam Qadir Naik.
The gunbattle was going on when reports last came in,