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Burhan group’s last militant among 3 killed in Shopian

Lateef Dar was active from 2014 and was the last surviving militant of Burhan Wani group, the picture of which went viral in the summer of 2015 on social media.

Lateef Tiger, the only surviving militant of Burhan Wani group, was killed along with his two associates in an encounter with security forces at Adkhara village in south Kashmir’s poll-bound Shopian district on Friday.

A police official said on a credible input about the presence of militants at in Aadkhara village of Imam Sahab area of the district, 55 km from here, a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) was launched by the army and special operations group of Jammu and Kashmir police.

He said the gunfight began after the militants fired upon a search party from a residential house, where they were hiding. “In the retaliatory action, three militants were killed,” he said and identified them as Lateef Dar alias Tiger, Tariq Molvi and Shariq Negroo, all locals affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

Lateef Dar was active from 2014 and was the last surviving militant of Burhan Wani group, the picture of which went viral in the summer of 2015 on social media. Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces in July 2016, triggering off massive unrest in which around 100 people were killed and more than 10 thousand injured, mostly due to pellets.

Shopian district, where the militants were killed, is going to polls on May 6 and is part of Anantnag Lok Sabha seat.

Meanwhile, over a dozen protesters were injured when they clashed with security forces near the encounter site, the report said. Youth threw stones on forces, who retaliated by firing tear smoke shells and pellet firing to quell the protestors.

An official at District Hospital Shopian said that 16 injured were brought to the facility.

The frequency of encounters between the militants and security forces have come down in the recent weeks after the Lok Sabha polls began. Police and Army maintain that the situation in Kashmir has improved during the past one year.

According to official figures 74 militants have been killed this year while the number was 272 in 2018. Post February 14 Pulwama fidayeen (suicide) attack, 42 militants have been killed, of them 25 belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit.

Even the civilian casualties during encounters have gone down significantly in the first three months of this year, compared to the last year.

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