3 militants involved in Surankote massacre killed
28 August 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu: Romeo Force today killed three militants including a ‘commander’ of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit, who were involved in massacre of 13 civilians including women and children at Tiali Katha in Surankote on intervening night on June 25 and 26 this year. Defence sources said Abu Zubair alias M-7, an ‘area commander’ of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit, who had led the militant group that rained bullets on innocent civilians at Tiali Katha, was among three militants gunned down by the troops of Special Force in a fierce exchange of gun- battle for four hours in Hill Kaka area of Surankote tehsil in Poonch district this morning. Sources said the troops had put all the militants involved in the civilian killings on their hit list. Troops cordoned off a hideout in Hill Kaka in wee hours of this morning on a specific information that three militants, involved in the carnage, had taken shelter there. The hideout was surrounded by the Army personnel at 6.30 am today and the militants were asked to walk out and surrender but they opened firing. A heavy exchange of firing between the two sides continued for four hours in which all three militants were eliminated. Security forces didn’t suffer any casualties in the operation. One of the slain militants was identified as Abu Zubair alias M-7, an ‘area commander’ of LeT while identity of his two associates couldn’t be ascertained. After the massacre, the Excelsior had reported that Abu Zubair, a Pakistani, has led the LeT group that massacred 13 civilians. Zubair had married a local girl of Marha, Surankote. M-7 was main accused in the killing of 13 civilians at Tiali Katha, the sources said, adding three to four militants involved in the massacre are still at large. Troops were searching them and would hunt them down very soon, they declared. Recoveries made from the slain militants include two AK rifles, one sniper rifle and a large quantity of ammunition. Killing of M-7, who was also involved in a series of other killings, besides Tiali Katha massacre is a big setback for the LeT outfit, the sources said. Meanwhile, another militant, killed yesterday in an encounter with Army and police at Badi Rakh in Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district, has also turned out to be a dreaded ultra of Jaish- e-Mohammed, the sources said identifying him as Zafar Iqbal alias Abu Dandal son of Nazir Ahmed, a resident of Bakkar, Pakistan. From his possession, security forces recovered one AK-47 rifle, four magazines, one wireless set and one identity card. In another incident, the militant beheaded a 27 year old woman Shehnaz Akhter widow of Parvez Khan at village Sanjot in Harni area of Mendhar tehsil last night. Sources said the widow was first kidnapped by the militants from her house and then killed in a field.