Sabzar Bhat, the commander of Hizbul Mujahideen and successor of Burhan Wani, was killed in an encounter today.
Minutes later, violence erupted with stone-pelters taking to the streets across Anantnag district in Kashmir.
Bhat had succeeded Burhan Wani as the militant outfit’s chief. He was among two terrorists trapped and gunned down during a major encounter that lasted for hours in the Tral area of Pulwama district in south Kashmir.
Sources said at 9 pm on Friday, militants opened fire at a patrol party of 42 Rashtriya Rifles at Hardumir. They managed to escape from the spot when the forces started heavy retaliatory firing. After a chase, three militants were cornered and a gun battle ensued that continued till early hours of Saturday.
While Bhat and another militant were killed, search operations were on for the third militant.
Sources did not rule out another clampdown on social media following today’s development.
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The Director General of Jammu and Kashmir police, SP Vaid, told media on phone that Sabzar was definitely there. “His presence has been confirmed. But we will declare him dead only after all the operations are over.”
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