SRINAGAR, July 11: Two senior commanders of guerrilla organizations were among 13 people killed in Kashmir, police said on Thursday.

In southern Kashmir, Indian forces early on Thursday gunned down a senior commander of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a police spokesman said.

The spokesman said Sarfaraz Rathore, Lashkar’s chief commander of the southern frontier district of Poonch, was killed in a firefight in the remote region, some 240 kms from Jammu.

“Rathore’s killing is a major setback to the Lashkar in Poonch, where it is responsible for attacking Indian army camps in the recent past,” the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, police in Srinagar said Bilal Ahmed, alias Mehmood Bhai, district commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad, was shot dead overnight.

The commander was killed in a three-hour battle in the village of Krumbhore near Handwara township, 85 kms north of Srinagar, police said.

“The encounter erupted when the army intercepted a group of Jaish militants, and asked them to surrender,” a police officer said, adding that the rebels instead opened fire, wounding two soldiers. “The army returned fire, killing Bilal.”

A number of guerillas managed to escape under cover of darkness, the officer said.

In separate incidents in the village of Sogam in the same district, two Indian army soldiers and two mujahideen were killed in a clash late on Wednesday, a police spokesman said.

Two other soldiers were injured in the gunbattle.

Separately, in Poonch, a soldier and a guerilla were killed in a battle early on Thursday, police said.

And suspected militants stormed into a marriage ceremony in the village of Palhalan in northern Baramulla district on Thursday and opened fire at a former rebel now working with security forces, killing him on the spot.

“Two civilians also sustained injuries of whom one later died in Srinagar’s main hospital,” police said.

In the neighbouring village of Warpora, police said suspected militants shot dead a 23-year-old student on Thursday.

Two more people were killed elsewhere in Kashmir since late Wednesday.—AFP

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