Militant killed in Kupwara gunfight was top Lashkar commander: Police

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Police on Saturday identified the militant killed in a gunfight last night at Lohar Mohalla in Darpora village of Lolab in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district as top Lashkar commander Abu Usama.

A police official told Srinagar based news agency GNS that the militant who was killed in an encounter late Friday evening has been identified as Abu Usama alias Zarar, a top commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit, a resident of Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK).

“Abu Usama, believed to be part of the group comprising three to four members had infiltrated into this part of Kashmir some six months back and were hiding inside the dense bushes of Lolab”, the officer said.

The operation in the area is still going on as two more militants are believed to be hiding inside the area, the officer said.

After conducting all legal formalities, the local police handed over the body of the militant to local auqaf committee in Dardpora for burial.

Meanwhile, clashes rocked the area as Abu Usama was laid to rest.

Hundreds of people were seen shouting pro-freedom slogans as the body was taken to the graveyard at Jindiyal in Dardpora. Earlier, hundreds of people participated in his funeral.

Following the killing, there was spontaneous shutdown in Dardpora, Lolpora and its adjoining areas.

Based on the specific information about the presence of some militants, the army’s 28 RR had launched a cordon-and-search operation near Ziyarat Sharief at Lohar Mohalla last evening.

As the forces were zeroing in, the militants opened fire upon them, triggering off an encounter.

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