Srinagar: Three militants, including top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Yasin Itoo, were killed in an over 24 hour-long gunfight that ended on Sunday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district and also left two soldiers dead. A dozen stone-pelting protesters were injured in clashes with security forces in the area.
Yasin Itoo, alias Mehmood Ghaznavi, the operational commander of the Hizbul, was among those killed in the gunfight in Awneera village in Shopian. The other two slain militants were identified as Umar Majid and Irfan. Earlier, the third militant was believed to be Adil Malik.
Itoo, also spelt as Yatoo, was a resident of Chadoora area of Badgam district. One of the longest surviving militant commanders, he had joined militancy in 1997. The three slain militants were locals belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. Three AK-47 rifles were recovered from their possession.
The house in Awneera village in which the militants had been hiding was blasted by the security forces. Jammu and Kashmir police chief S.P. Vaid tweeted on the success: “One of terrorists killed today morning at Shopian is identified as Yasin Itoo; operational commander of Hizbul Mujahideen. Great success!”
In an earlier post he said: “Today morning three terrorists eliminated at Zainpora Shopian. Well done boys!”