Top Hizb commander killed in Sopore

A top commander of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen was killed in an encounter with security forces in the volatile Sopore area of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Sunday.

Sources said the operation was launched on Saturday night by the Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police and troops Army’s 15-Rashtriya Rifles after they received information about the presence of Hizb commander Mohammad Shafi Sheikh, alias Shafi Peer, in a house in the Seelu area of Sopore, 55 km from here.

“Early on Sunday, when a search party of troops cordoned off the house in which Sheikh was hiding, he fired at security forces, leading to an encounter during which he was killed. He was an A+ category militant and was coordinator for the outfit. Sheikh was active for the past six years,” added the sources.

A senior police officer said local militant Sheikh was active in the region for several years.
“A pistol with eight rounds and a grenade were recovered from the site of the encounter,” he said, adding that the slain militant was involved in a number of cop-killings in Sopore and adjoining areas.

“He was also an IED expert, and involved in a number of mine blasts, including the blast at the Sopore police station in 2011, besides being involved in number of grenade attacks in Sopore,” he claimed.

On January 13 this year, three foreign militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad were killed in an encounter in the neighbouring village of Dooru in Sopore.

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