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Six terrorists, including a close aide of Zakir Musa, one of Jammu and Kashmir’s most wanted terrorist, has been killed in an encounter with security forces in Pulwama district today(Saturday, December 22).

Soliha, also known as Rehaan Khan, was the deputy chief of Zakir Musa’s group Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind, which has links with Al-Qaeda.

Security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in the Awantipora area in the south Kashmir district after they received specific intelligence input about the presence of terrorists there.

Police said as the forces were conducting searches, terrorists fired upon them, triggering the encounter.

Zakir Musa is a former Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist, and his Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind is said to also have links to Jaish-e-Mohammed. He is one of the most wanted terrorists who are currently operating in the Kashmir valley.

“Weapons and war-like stores have been recovered. The operation is over,” a Defence Ministry spokesman said.

Issuing a statement later, police said there was no collateral damage during the encounter. Arms and ammunition have been seized from the spot. A case has been registered and a probe is underway.

Last week, seven civilians were killed when security forces opened fire on protesters after an encounter in which three militants and an Armyman were killed at Sirnoo village.

While the J&K police said the civilians were killed when they came “dangerously close” to the site of the encounter, eyewitnesses had claimed they were killed more than an hour after the gunfight. An inquiry has been ordered into the incident by the government.

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