Masood Azhar's nephew among three militants killed in Kashmir

Masood Azhar's nephew among three militants killed in Kashmir

Masood Azhar's nephew among three militants killed in Kashmir

Security forces in Kashmir achieved major success by killing one of the most wanted militant commanders, Talha Rasheed, nephew of Pakistan based Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Moulana Masood Azhar.

Talha was among three militants killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir's Pulwama district on Monday night. Also first time in last 28-years of the insurgency, security forces recovered US-made M4 Carbine weapon from the possession of slain militants. A soldier of Army's 44-Rashtriya Rifles (RR) was also killed and two others got injured in the operation.

Addressing a press conference here, Inspector General Police (IGP) Kashmir Munir Khan said they will ask Pakistan to collect the body of Azhar's nephew. "Jaish-e-Muhammad has owned Talha Rasheed. We will ask them (Pakistan) to collect the body because they owned it," he said and added the matter will be taken up through proper channels.

Earlier, a local news-gathering agency, GNS, quoting a statement from Jaish, said that Rasheed and two other militants, including Divisional Commander Muhammad Bhai and Waseem Bhai of Drubgam Pulwama, were killed in the firefight in Aglar Kandi village.

"Hassan Shah, the JeM spokesman, identified Masood Azhar's nephew as commander Talha Rasheed," said the report.

Khan, who was flanked by GoC, Victor Force Maj Gen BS Raju and IG CRPF, Zulfikar Hassan, said the slain militants were involved in killing of police constable at Rajpora in Pulwama two days ago. "Around 16 to 20 JeM militants are still active in Valley, but our forces are capable enough to get them,," he said.

Maj Gen Raju said the M4 weapon is used by NATO forces as well as by the Special Forces of the Pakistan Army. "We have reason to believe that the particular weapon was given to JeM cadres by the Pakistan Army, clearly showing the complicity between the Pakistani forces and the Jaish-e-Mohammed," he said.

"This is for the first time that a US made weapon was recovered from militants operating in Kashmir. We have also recovered Russian made weapon AK-74 rifle."

Giving details of last night's operation, the GoC said, "At 6 (pm), we made contact with militants and at around 9-10 pm all three militants were eliminated. There was a interference (by stone pelters) during the encounter, but police and CRPF handled the situation very well." "The prize was killing of Talha Rasheed, nephew of Masood Azhar," he added.

In last four days, four security forces personnel have been killed during encounters in Pulwama.