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Hizbul Mujahideen’s New Commander Abdul Qayoom Najar Killed During Infiltration Bid in J&K

Senior police officers, who suspect Najar responsible for around 25 murders, including those of policemen, said that Najar was killed while he was trying to infiltrate back to Kashmir from Pakistan earlier this day.

News18.com

Updated:September 26, 2017, 8:10 PM IST
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Hizbul Mujahideen’s New Commander Abdul Qayoom Najar Killed During Infiltration Bid in J&K
Representative image.
New Delhi: One of the longest surviving militants in Kashmir - Abdul Qayoom Najar - was killed in a gunfight with security forces in North Kashmir's Baramulla district on Tuesday.

Senior police officers, who suspect Najar responsible for around 25 murders, including those of policemen, said that Najar was killed while he was trying to infiltrate back to Kashmir from Pakistan earlier this day.

Najar's death in the encounter a big success for the police as, sources in the police say, he was returning to the valley to take control of Hizbul Mujahideen.

Najar was the operational commander of Hizbul Mujahideen till 2015, when he was expelled by its chief Syed Salahuddin after Najar caused massive outrage in the valley by killing several civilians.

He had since then formed his own unit Lashkar-e-Islam. But his returning to take back the control of Hizbul Mujahideen, which has suffered huge setbacks with the deaths of Sabzar Bhat and Yaseen Ittoo in Kashmir earlier this year, may mean that the terror outfit has received another setback - possibly its biggest this year.

Najar had become the valley's most wanted militant during the summers of 2015 when he, through explosives, brought down a number of cellphone towers in several parts of North Kashmir.

The Inspector General of J&K Police, Muneer Khan, said that he was sure that the militant that his forces had killed in a gunfight near Zorawar post of Lachipora Uri, was indeed Najar, but he wanted his family members to identify the body for final confirmation. "We know that it's Najar but we would like his family to identify the body as well."

Najar was a resident of North Kashmir's Sopore area who carried a bounty of Rs 10 lakh on his head. However after a series of civilian killings in North and central Kashmir, all of which were linked to him, and cellphone tower bombings, he went underground and sometime in early 2016 is believed to have crossed over to Pakistan.

Najar is believed to have joined militancy and operated as a Hizbul Mujahideen militant, first at the age of 15 in 1992, and continued to lead insurgency in areas like Baramulla, Handwara, Pattan and Sopore through the bloody 90s.
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