In a major setback for Hizbul Mujahideen, its operations commander Yaseen Itoo was killed in an encounter with security forces in J&K’s Shopian, PTI reported. Two other terrorists were also killed in the encounter that began last night. On security agencies’ part, two armymen were martyred in the encounter. The operation was executed by Special Operations Group of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, Army, and the CRPF.
Following a tip-off to the local police, a cordon was laid in Awnira village of Shopian last night by the forces. PTI reports that militants fired at the approaching security personnel, wounding five Army personnel, two of whom were later martyred. The firing from terrorists prompted the security forces to wait until dawn while keeping a tight cordon around the area before launching a major strike.
However, the intermittent firing between forces and terrorists continued the whole night. The two other terrorists were identified as Irfan, reported by PTI as “a tech-savvy militant involved in online propaganda for the militant outfit”, and Umar. Itoo, from Budgam district of central Kashmir, was identified by his family members who were brought to the scene of the encounter by police from their residence in Budgam.
Five soldiers were injured in the gunfight yesterday and had to be evacuated to 92 Base Hospital of the Army for treatment. Two among them succumbed to injuries last night. They were identified as Sepoy Ilayaraja P, a resident of Tamil Nadu, and Sepoy Gawai Sumedh Waman from Maharashtra