SRINAGAR: Government forces have killed the commander of a militant group in Indian-administered Kashmir, police said Tuesday, as the disputed territory ended its deadliest year for a decade.
Noor Mohammad Tantray was trapped in a house outside the main city of Srinagar on Monday evening along with his associates, triggering a fierce overnight gunbattle.
Police described the operation as a “significant breakthrough” after Tantray’s body was found under debris on Tuesday.
Police and troops cordoned off a group of houses at Samboora, “which resulted in a fierce gunbattle leading to elimination of top JeM commander Noor Mohammad Tantray,” police said in a statement.
Tantray’s two associates managed to escape, a police official said on condition of anonymity.
The 47-year-old commander, who was only three feet tall according to police reports, was described by officials as a new “security headache” when he took over as head of the group in Indian Kashmir last year.
According to police he spent 12 years in jail after being convicted in a case of militancy in 2003, but jumped parole two years later.
As the news of Tantray’s death spread, hundreds of residents shouting “Go, India, go back!” spilt onto the streets, throwing stones and clashing with government forces who fired tear gas and pellet guns.
At least six protesters were injured, a police officer said.—AFP