Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) chief Dr Saifullah was killed in an encounter on the outskirts of the city on Sunday, police said, describing it as a huge success for the security forces.
Saifullah, who had taken command of the outfit after the killing of Riyaz Naikoo in May this year, was one of the most wanted militants in the Kashmir Valley and involved in several attacks on the security forces, an official said.
This is a huge success for the police and security forces. This is not a small achievement, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar told reporters at the encounter site.
Recounting the events of the morning, an official said security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Rangreth area near the old airfield following specific information about the presence of militants there. As the forces were conducting searches in the area, the militants fired. The forces retaliated, resulting in the encounter.
A militant was killed in the exchange of fire, the official said, identifying him as Saifullah.
Incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the encounter site, he added.
Addressing reporters near the encounter site, IGP Kumar said they had received information that Saifullah had come here from south Kashmir and was hiding in a house.
So the security forces cordoned off the area and an operation was launched. In the exchange of firing, one militant was killed. According to our source, we are 95 per cent sure he is Dr Saifullah. We are retrieving the body and it will be identified, Kumar added.