Most wanted Al-Badr commander killed in Kashmir

Sources said security forces cordoned off Katapora area of Yaripora, 65 km from here, after specific inputs about the presence of two to three militants, including Zeenatul, in the area. ANI file photo

At least two militants, including the most-wanted Al-Badar Zeenat-ul-Islam, were killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir's Kulgam district on Saturday evening.
 
Sources said, Islam who was earlier affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit, was killed along with his associate in the gunfight that broke out in Katpora village of Yaripora, 65 kms from here, following a search operation launched by a joint team of army’s 34 Rashtriya Rifles, J&K police and the CRPF after specific inputs about the presence of two to three militants in the area. 
 
“As the cordon was being laid and forces tried to approach towards the suspected spot, the militants hiding inside opened fire, triggering a fierce encounter in which so far two militants were killed,” they said and identified the slain ultras as Zeenat and Shakeel Ahmad Dar alias Faisal.
 
However, there was no official confirmation about the identity of the militants till late in the evening.
 
“The operation is still in progress and we are yet to retrieve the bodies from the encounter site. There was information about the presence of Zeenat and two more militants in the area, but till bodies are recovered we can't say who has been killed,” a police officer told DH.
 
29-year-old Zeenat was recruited in November 2015 and is considered an expert with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). According to police records, he was arrested for the first time in 2008 and was booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA) for being a member of Al-Badr.
 
He was also in touch with different militant outfits and was working as an overground worker for their members, arranging them food and supplies. After his release in 2011, he got married before joining LeT. He completed his Bachelor of Arts from a local college.
 
A key recruiters Zeenat was one of three militants surviving from Army’s list of 12 most wanted militants. Ansar Ghazwat ul Hind chief Zakir Musa and Hizbul chief Riyaz Naikoo are the other two.

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