Hizb chief Riyaz Naikoo killed in south Kashmir encounter

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Srinagar: Hizbul Mujahideen chief Riyaz Naikoo has been killed in a gunfight with the government forces in Beighpora village of Pulwama, South Kashmir.

The army sources confirmed to The Kashmir Walla that Hizbul Mujahideen chief was killed in the Pulwama gunfight.

Naikoo, a post-graduate, carried a reward of 12 lakh rupees on his head. After the killing Burhan Wani, the then commander-in-chief of Hizbul Mujahideen, in July 2016 — Naikoo was made the operational commander.

Earlier, Kashmir Police Zone had tweeted: “So far one unidentified terrorist killed. Operation going on.” A joint team of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, the army’s 55 Rashtriya Rifles, and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had launched a search operation in Beighpora after security agencies were a tipped-off about the presence of militants in the area.

After the gunfight ensued, mobile internet services were snapped across Kashmir, while restrictions were imposed in parts.

Naikoo was born in Beighpora village of Awantipora tehsil in district Pulwama in April 1985.

The second among a sister and three brothers, Naikoo studied at the government school in the neighbouring village of Gulzarpora. He then went on to study at the Higher Secondary School in Noorpora.

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