November 1999 News

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Top Lashkar-e-Toiba leaders killed in encounter

18 November 1999
The Hindustan Times
By Arun Joshi

JAMMU: Lashkar-e-Toiba chief for central Kashmir Abu Thala Hazari alias Abu Tariq and Ali Mohammad Bhat alias Ali Padshah, launching chief of the group, were killed in a fierce encounter with police in Srinagar.

One unidentified foreign militant and two police personnel were also killed in the night-long gun battles.

A spokesman of police told The Hindustan Times that the police's Special Operation Group, assisted by Border Security Force, raided a suspected hideout of militants in Galwanpora, near Baramulla last night. The militants hiding in the house opened fire killing two security personnel and injuring one.

Thereafter, in an encounter, the police killed three militants and two of them have been identified as the top men of Lashkar-e-Toiba, the group which in recent months has been active in targeting the Army camps in the Kashmir Valley. In the post-encounter searches, the police discovered an underground hideout in which about a dozen people could hide without being detected.

The police spokesman said that Abu Thala Hazari of Pakistan had been guiding militants' operations in central Kashmir and had his headquarters in the upper reaches of Budgam.


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