Gunfight in Kashmir forests
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POONCH — Hizb-ul-Mujahideen “commander” Muneser Hussain of Poonch was killed along with his “bodyguard” along the Line of Control as the army foiled an infiltration bid in this district on Monday, officials said.

While the body of the Hizbul commander was recovered along with a huge cache of arms and ammunition, his bodyguard’s body could not be retrieved as he managed to return to the other side of LoC in Degwar sector before falling on the ground, they said. “He is presumed dead.”

“The killed (militant) has been identified on the basis of police records as Muneser Hussain son of Sattar Mohammad of Bagyladra Poonch,” Lt Col Suneel Bartwal PRO (Defence) Jammu said in a statement to the news agency GNS. “He was a Divisional Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM).”

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In 1993, he said, he went to PaK, came back in 1996 and again returned to PaK in 1998. “He has masterminded a number of attacks on SFs. As per police records, his family of two wives and children are residents of Surankote, Poonch.”

Hussain was a close associate of Maulana Dawood Kashmir (TuJ) who in turn is a close associate of Syed Salahuddin (HM), he said.

“Recently a high-level meeting of the HM group took place in Islamabad which he attended. The agenda of the meeting was a revival of HM in Rajouri Poonch,” he said, adding, “From this, we can make out that Muneer Hussain along with his bodyguard was sent with the agenda of reviving HM in Rajouri Poonch / South of Pir-Panjal (SPPR).”

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The PRO said that Hussain was given a larger leadership role of “Tanzeems and told to revive terrorism South of Pir Panjal”. Hussain, he said, was the senior leader of HM. “He is the most dreaded (militant) killed in the last 10 years in Rajouri/Poonch.”

He said it was evident that Pak is trying to send old militant “veterans” to J&K to motivate and recruit youth, thus making “desperate attempts to revive” militancy.

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