A top-rated Hizbul Mujahideen commander, who belonged to the A++ or most wanted category, and his associate were killed by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag this morning. The security forces were combing the Muniward area in Khanabal acting on information about the presence of terrorists there. A fierce gunfight followed in which the two terrorists were killed.
The terrorists were identified as Altaf Ahmed Dar, also known as Kachroo, and Omar Rashid Wani, both residents of Kulgam. An AK-47 and one INSAS rifle were recovered from the encounter site.
The encounter led to clashes as locals took to streets to help the terrorists escape. Tear gas and pellets were fired to disperse the protesters who attacked the forces with stones.
Abid Rashid Bhat, a local, suffered pellet injuries and was admitted to the hospital. Restrictions are in place in Anantnag to avoid any escalation. Mobile internet is unavailable and train services have been suspended on the Srinagar-Banihal route as a precautionary measure.
Kachroo, 32, had been active in south Kashmir for over a decade now. He supervised and led several attacks in the area. The police described him as the "chief architect" of attacks on security forces and civilians.
During the 2016 unrest in Kashmir following the death of another Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, Kachroo along with Yasin Itoo, who was killed last year, had played a crucial role in setting off violent street protests that left over 100, mostly civilians, dead.
Kachroo was a category A ++ terrorist and figured in the list of top 12 terrorists released by the Army. Terrorists are ranked as "A" or "A++" based on their notoriety with "A++" denoting the highest.
A resident of Redwani village in Kulgam, he carried a reward of Rs 15 lakh on his head. He was also involved in distribution of weapons among young recruits. His killing is being seen as a major success in the anti-terrorist operations in south Kashmir.
Anantnag encounter completed, 2 bodies of terrorists along with 2 weapons recovered from the site. A clean operation with precision.- Shesh Paul Vaid (@spvaid) August 29, 2018
Twenty four-year-old Omar Rashid Wani, who became active last year, was responsible for killings of policemen in Anantnag this year and recently an attack on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Srinagar. He managed to escape from an encounter site in Batmaloo in which a Special Operations Group policeman was killed and a policeman and two CRPF personnel were injured.
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