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Two militants killed in Bijbehara

Two militants killed in Bijbehara

Author: Excelsior Special Correspondent
Publication: The Daily Excelsior
Date: January 12, 2004
URL: http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/web1/04jan12/news.htm#2

Lensman beheaded, wife shot dead

Even as militants have mercilessly killed a couple in Tral and a cable operator in Rajpora area of Pulwama district, security forces have killed two militants in a fierce gunbattle in Bijbehara area of south Kashmir since last evening. Meanwhile, security forces have killed two more militants in the encounter that had begun at Bakhipora in Rafiabad area of Baramulla district on Friday.

Informed sources in south Kashmir told the EXCELSIOR that late last evening, a group of heavily armed militants barged into the house of a small time photographer Farooq Ahmed Mirza S/o Gul Shah at Lurgam, about 8 Km from Tral. After an altercation with the inmates, the militants shot dead Mirza's 29- year-old wife, Zaina, in cold blood. Mirza was dragged out of the house and beheaded with a sharp-edged knife. His decapitated body was recovered from the spot late in the night.

An investigation revealed that militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad had established a temporary hideout at Mirza's house in the last two years. Security forces killed two militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad, namely Aijaz Shaheen S/o Mubarak Shah of Pakistan and Fayaz Ahmed Hajam S/o Ghulam Ahmed Hajam R/o Satoora (Tral), in an operation at Mirza's house on August 5, 2003. Though no militant outfit has immediately owned up the couple's killing, it is widely believed in Tral area that militants have suspected the photographer and his wife as informers of security forces.

Zaina has been reportedly killed for offering resistance to the militants' attempt of kidnapping her husband. Thereafter, Mirza is believed to have been slaughtered as an informer.

Militants also intruded into the house of one Master Wali Mohammad Sheikh at Chhanapora village in Rajpora area and hurled a hand grenade on the inmates. A cable operator, namely Firdaus Ahmed, got killed and the house owner's son, Abdul Hameed, sustained injuries. Official sources said it was being ascertained whether the attack had been executed by separatist militants or the same was the handiwork of the cable operator's business rivals.

Sources said that on the basis of a specific information, troops of Rashtriya Rifles 3 Bn launched a cordon-and-search operation at Tulkhun near the highway township of Bijbehara today. During the operation, a group of holed up militants opened fire and made several attempts to escape from the cordoned area. Finally troops killed two militants. They were identified as Mohammad Ishfaq alias Fahim-ul-Islam R/o Arwani and Riyaz Ahmed Wani R/o Khull Ahmed abad (Noorabad). However, Police sources insisted that the latter was a Pakistani national with a fake Identity card.

Reports from north Kashmir said that security forces have eliminated two more militants in the gunbattle that had begun between the militants and security forces at Bakhipora (Rafiabad) in Handwara area on Friday. As already reported, two militants of the organisation had been killed by security forces in this gunbattle on Friday and Saturday while as two soldiers had got injured. According to official sources, one of the four slain militants has been identified as Imran R/o Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Police and security forces have recovered 20 anti-tank grenades, 13 rockets, one IED booster, two wireless sets and six IEDs in a search operation at Hathlangoo in Sopore area.

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