Three feet tall Jaish commander killed in Pulwama gunfight


    SRINAGAR: Forces killed the militant commander of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) in P Samboora area Pulwama district, police said on Tuesday.

    Noor Mohammad Tantray, the commander of the Jaish-e-Mohammad militants group, was trapped in a house on Monday evening along with his associates, triggering a fierce overnight gun battle.

    Police described the operation as a “significant breakthrough” after Tantray’s body was found under debris on Tuesday. Police and troops cordoned off a group of houses at Samboora, “which resulted in a fierce gun battle leading to the killing of top JeM commander Noor Mohammad Tantray,” police said in a statement.

    The 47-year-old JeM commander, who was only three feet tall according to police reports, was described by officials as a new “security headache” when he took over as head of the group in Kashmir last year.

    According to police, he spent 12 years in jail after being convicted in a case of militancy in 2003, but jumped parole two years later to rejoin JeM. As the news of Tantray’s death spread, hundreds of residents shouting “pro freedom slogans” took to streets, throwing stones and clashing with forces, who fired tear-gas and pellet guns.

    At least six protesters were injured, reports said. Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Pulwama district against the killing of top JeM commander. Shutdown was observed in areas including Pulwama, Kakapora, Pampore, Awantipora, Tral. All shops and other business establishments were closed in the district.

    Authorities also suspended internet services in the area while as train services in southern Kashmir were also halted for security reasons.