In­dian forces kill elu­sive LeT leader in Kash­mir Hunted for years

One killed as protests break out Sep­a­ratists call for strike to­day

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Srinagar, In­dia - In­dian forces killed a top mil­i­tant com­man­der in the In­dian state of Jammu and Kash­mir on Tues­day, trig­ger­ing clashes in which one pro­tester was killed and dozens in­jured.

Abu Du­jana, a se­nior fighter from the Pak­istan-based mil­i­tant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), was killed dur­ing a raid near Srinagar, the cap­i­tal of the north­ern In­dian state.

In­dian troops and po­lice spe­cial counter-in­sur­gency forces sur­rounded the vil­lage of Harkipora after a tip-off that the mil­i­tant and an aide were hid­ing in a house. A fierce gun­fight fol­lowed, po­lice sources said.

A house which the mil­i­tants used was set ablaze by sol­diers and an­other was blown up with heavy ex­plo­sives, wit­nesses said.

Po­lice said the bod­ies of the two mil­i­tants were charred ‘nearly be­yond recog­ni­tion’.

Du­jana (26), who was renowned for evad­ing cap­ture, was con­sid­ered an ‘A++’ tar­get by se­cu­rity forces, who hailed his death a ‘ma­jor achieve­ment’.

A po­lice of­fi­cer said Du­jana’s aide was a teenaged lo­cal rebel and that his burial in his home­town was at­tended by thou­sands.

Thou­sands of Kash­mir res­i­dents came out onto the streets and clashed with gov­ern­ment forces, throw­ing stones at them.

Troops re­tal­i­ated with tear gas, pel­let guns and bul­lets, killing a young man and in­jur­ing

at least 70 others, wit­nesses and a po­lice of­fi­cer said.

A woman nurse was wounded by a bullet in­side a hos­pi­tal in Pul­wama, a town south of Srinagar, when gov­ern­ment forces fired at pro­test­ers as­sem­bled out­side, a hos­pi­tal source said. Hun­dreds of stu­dents and res­i­dents clashed with po­lice in Lal Chowk, the main com­mer­cial cen­tre of Srinagar, where shop­keep­ers downed shut­ters and

pan­icked par­ents rushed to col­lect their chil­dren from schools.

Sep­a­ratists in the Kash­mir val­ley have called for a gen­eral strike on Wed­nes­day.

The state gov­ern­ment has or­dered all schools, col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties to be shut too. Se­cu­rity of­fi­cials say Du­jana, who crossed from Pak­istan-ad­min­is­tered Kash­mir in 2010, was the long­est sur­viv­ing fighter in the In­dian-con­trolled ter­ri­tory. He had a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing ‘a mas­ter of dis­guise’ who es­caped at least five pre­vi­ous mil­i­tary cor­dons.

“He (Du­jana) kept weapons and am­mu­ni­tion stashed away in dif­fer­ent ar­eas and moved like a civil­ian dis­guised as a stu­dent and some­times as a labourer,” a res­i­dent of south Kash­mir said.

The mil­i­tant also ap­peared at the funer­als of slain com­rades at least twice, but gave po­lice and troops the slip.

"” knew the ter­ri­tory like the back of his hand. He was very, very mo­bile,” a po­lice of­fi­cer said.

Abu Du­jana kept weapons and am­mu­ni­tion stashed in dif­fer­ent ar­eas and moved like a civil­ian dis­guised as a stu­dent or a labourer

A Kash­miri res­i­dent

(AFP)

Vil­lagers gather near a dam­aged house where two sus­pected rebels were killed, near Srinagar on Tues­day

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