Four rounds of funeral prayers held for local militant killed in Tral, associate offers gun-salute
Police describes killing of Masood Azhar’s nephew as “biggest success for forces in this year”
Srinagar: Thousands of people on Wednesday participated in the funeral prayers of one of the local militants killed in a gunfight with the armed forces in Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district yesterday.
Showkat Ahmad Khan of Handoora village of Tral was killed in a gunfight in Chankitar village of Tral yesterday along with Usman Haider of Pakistan.
The Pakistan-based militant, Usman is reported to be the nephew of Moulana Masood Azhar, the chief of the group Jaish-e-Mohammad. A senior official deployed on ground described the killing of Azhar’s high-profile nephew as “the biggest success for the forces in this year.”
An eye witness said that at least four rounds of funeral prayers were held to accomodate a huge rush of mourners who reached the village from nearby and far-off areas.
He said a militant appeared in the funeral and offered gun salute to Showkat at his native Handoora village.
The Jammu and Kashmir police has said that two dead bodies were recovered from the site of encounter along with arms and ammunition including M4 and AK 47 rifles and other incriminating materials.
“The killed terrorists have been identified, as Showkat Ahmad Khan resident of Handoora Tral while the other one is Usman from Pakistan,” the police said.
According to the police, the militants were affiliated with proscribed outfit Jaise e Muhammad and the same group was involved in a series of attacks and firing on the armed forces’ camp from a distance, in recent times.
The police asked the “citizens not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials”.
As per reports, the armed forces and their intelligence units in Jammu and Kashmir suspect that a few highly skilled snipers could be active in the Valley, after an Army soldier and two paramilitary personnel were killed in long-range stealth attacks this week.
Snipers who can hide at a single spot undetected for a long time and withdraw after making a kill could also pose a high threat to high profile targets in the valley, sources said.