Top Hizb Commander, Aide Killed In Beighpora Gunfight

Srinagar

Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Riyaz Naikoo along with his associate were killed in an encounter in Beighpora area in Pulwama district.

Confirming Naikoo’s death  news agency IANS quoted a senior security forces officer as having said, “Naikoo has been killed along with his associate.”

Forces personnel rushing towards the site of encounter at Beighpora area in Pulwama district on Wednesday, May 06, 2020, in which top Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Riyaz Naikoo along with his associate were killed. KL Image By Bilal Bahadur

Local news gathering agency GNS while quoting the Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range, said Naikoo was killed in the gunfight along with an aide. He said the operation was still underway, said the report.

According to the report by IANS, officials said the operation was carried out with pinpoint precision without any collateral damage.

Authorities have suspended mobile Internet across the Kashmir Valley.

The overnight operation to trap Naikoo by the forces was started on Tuesday evening when a massive search operation was launched in the native Beighpora village of Naikoo near the Awantipora town of Pulwama district.

Sources had told IANS then that after receiving credible information that the top Hizbul Mujahideen commander had come to visit his home in Beighpora village the joint op by the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the local police, moved in quickly to seal all entry and exit points of the village.

Riyaz Naikoo

“The adjoining Gulzarpora village has also been brought under the cordon and search operation is on to ensure that once trapped, he is unable to escape,” news agency IANS quoted sources as having said.

Riyaz Naikoo took over as the commander of Hizbul Mujahideen after the commander Burhan Wani was killed in a gunfight with the forces in Kokarnag area in Anantnag district on July 8, 2016.

Naikoo carried a reward of Rs 12 lakh on his head.

Before joining the militant ranks, Naikoo worked as a mathematics teacher at a local school.

Meanwhile, two other militants were killed in a separate encounter in Sharshali Khrew area of Awantipora where the encounter began late on Tuesday night.

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