Ashen walls remain of house after Tral encounter in which Sabzar Bhat was killed | india-news | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 10, 2017-Sunday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Ashen walls remain of house after Tral encounter in which Sabzar Bhat was killed

Hizbul leader Sabzar Ahmed Bhat and a fellow militant were killed on Saturday after troops cordoned off the southern Tral area overnight following a tip that rebels were hiding there.

india Updated: May 27, 2017 18:21 IST
HT Correspondent
A damaged house where Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, head of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group, was killed in an overnight gunfight in Kashmir’s Tral.
A damaged house where Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, head of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group, was killed in an overnight gunfight in Kashmir’s Tral. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)

Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, believed to be the successor Burhan Wani whose killing last year plunged Kashmir into one of its worst episodes of violence in Valley, was among eight militants killed in two encounters on Saturday.

An Indian army soldier stands next to a burning house where militants were killed during a gunfight in the Tral area south of Srinagar on May 27. (Waseem Andrabi / HT Photo)

The news of his death triggered violent protests in which one civilian died and dozen others were injured. Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag, Srinagar, Sopore and Kupwara, and several parts of the Valley were shut down.

Clashes between rock-throwing protesters and government forces erupted in different places in the area, with police and paramilitary soldiers firing shotgun pellets and tear gas to stop the protests.

The damaged house, where militants had taken refuge during a gunbattle at Saimoh village, in Tral area, about 45 Kilometres south of Srinagar on May 27. (Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times)

Speaking about the encounter, a police official said security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Soimoh village of Tral, 36 kms from Srinagar, following information about presence of some top Hizbul Mujahideen militants in the area.

He said the operation was launched after militants opened firing on an army patrol in Tral area last night.

Army soldiers outside a damaged house, where militant commander Sabzar Ahmed Bhat and a fellow militant had taken refuge. (Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times)

The official said as the security forces were closing on the building where the militants were hiding, the ultras opened fire.

Army soldiers and policemen patrol after a gunbattle ends at Saimoh village, in Tral area. (Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times)

As the violence raged, hundreds of angry residents chanting anti-India slogans marched in an attempt to help the trapped rebels escape.

Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, head of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group, was killed in an overnight gunfight in Kashmir’s Tral. (Waseem Andrabi/ HT Photo)

Clashes between rock-throwing protesters and government forces erupted in different places in the area, with police and paramilitary soldiers firing shotgun pellets and tear gas to stop the protests.

Army soldiers patrol following a gun battle at Saimoh village, in Tral area. (Waseem Andrabi/ HT Photo)

Last year, similar massive protests followed by clashes roiled Kashmir following the killing of charismatic rebel leader Burhan Wani. His death led to months of protests and a security lockdown during which at least 90 people were killed and thousands injured. Hundreds were blinded or maimed by the firing of government forces.

(with agencies inputs)