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Pakistan cop-turned-LeT ultra, aide killed in Kashmir encounter

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 - 9:45am IST | Place: Srinagar | Agency: dna

Security forces killed a Pakistani policeman-turned Lashkar-e-Tioba commander and his aide after a 20-hour-long operation in a heavily built-up area of Ahmadnagar on the outskirts of Srinagar on Monday. Two policemen were also injured in the gunfight.

Forces also rescued the husband-wife duo, who were allegedly held hostage and beaten up by the ultras in a house, before mounting the final assault.

Sources said Abu Huzaifa, a former policeman in the Pakistan's Sindh province and his associate Chota Hafiz of Lashkar-e-Tioba were gunned down shortly before the dusk on Monday.

Inspector general of police, Kashmir zone, Abdul Ghani Mir said following the inputs about the presence of the ultras, the forces laid the cordon in the area on Sunday evening.

"Militants. However, made forced entry into one of the houses. And they took the inhabitants of the house hostage. We had to lay the cordon for the whole night. In the morning the first thing we did was to
rescue the inhabitants of the house," he said Mir said the operation took a lot of time because the rescuing is a delicate process. "We planned each and every thing…Our priority was to rescue the husband wife held hostage. The militants had beaten them when tried to get out… And thank God we were able to rescue them," he said.

Soon after the rescue was over, security forces started the operation and eliminated both the ultras. Police said slain Abu Huzaifa and Chota Hafiz were active in the state for the last three to four years.
"They were mostly active in Dachigam-Kangan-Tral areas (of central and south Kashmir). They were planners who were planning the action (for the ultras)," Mir said.

Police noted that the operation took longer time because they did not want collateral damage to civilians or the securitymen. "It is a built up area in the city. Most importantly we did not want civilian
or our causalities. Two of our cops were injured who are now stable," said Mir.

The operation against the militants in city outskirts was launched barely hours after two policemen were killed when ultras attacked the residence of the National Conference youth leader Yawar Masoodi at
Bapora-Khrew in south Kashmir district of Pulwama. Two attackers were later intercepted and gunned down by the security forces in the nearby village.

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