SRINAGAR — Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range) Vijay Kumar said that Hizbul Mujahideen’s chief operational commander for the valley Dr Saifullah has been killed in an encounter at Rangreth area of Srinagar outskirts while a suspect has also been arrested, who is being questioned.

Talking to reporters at the encounter site, the Kashmir police chief said that on the basis of a specific lead, joint teams of Police and CRPF laid a cordon at Rangreth area and later Army also joined in the operation.

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“I am 95 per cent sure that the militant killed in the gunfight is Hizb chief operational commander Dr Saifullah who had taken over the reins of Hizb after the killing of its chief Reyaz Naikoo in an encounter in May this year,” the IGP said.

The IGP said a suspect and not the militant has been arrested at the encounter site who is being questioned.

“The encounter is almost over. We are sanitizing the area and clearing it as there may be some leftover grenades etc,” he said.

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Asked how big an achievement is the killing of Dr Saifullah for the security forces, he said: “It’s a big success as he was the chief of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. He had taken over the control of the outfit after the killing of Reyaz Naikoo. So it’s really a very big achievement.”

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