Sat, May 28, 2011 - Page 5 News List

Indian security forces slay wanted JEM commander

AFP, SRINAGAR, INDIA

Indian security forces have killed two militants in a gunbattle in the restive region of Kashmir, including a “most wanted” commander from a Pakistani group, police said.

The Islamist rebels were identified on Thursday in the village of Keller, 50km south of Srinagar, police superintendent Mumtaz Ahmad said.

A top local commander of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JEM) militant outfit named as Qari Zubair was killed in the ensuing firefight along with his bodyguard.

“Qari Zubair was active in south Kashmir for the last five years and was one of the most wanted foreign militants,” the police officer said late on Thursday, adding that Zubair was a Pakistani.

In April, local chief of JEM Sajjad Afghani and his bodyguard were shot dead by police in a gunfight along the banks of Dal Lake in Srinagar, the summer capital of the Indian-ruled region.

Thursday’s killings took to six the number of suspected rebels shot dead by Indian troops in the Himalayan region since Monday.

India blames Pakistan for backing Islamic militants in its zone of divided Kashmir, a charge Islamabad denies.

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