Published: Fri, May 24, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Schools, colleges shut, curfew imposed in Kashmir after Zakir Musa killing

Schools, colleges shut, curfew imposed in Kashmir after Zakir Musa killing

Zakir Musa, a close associate of Burhan Wani who was killed in 2017, was a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen who succeeded Burhan and later headed the Al Qaeda affiliate.

They said that a locality in Tral of Pulwama district was cordoned by security forces this evening following a specific input.

While intelligence units had earlier stated that Musa was operating independently in Kashmir to establish the Caliphate in the region, they had observed that the Al-Qaeda could not independently survive in Kashmir.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir's mostly Muslim population, with most people supporting the rebel cause that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.

Soon after the news of Zakir Musa, trapped by security forces in Dadasur, spread in the adjoining areas spontaneous protests rocked many parts of Kashmir valley. In response, security forces returned the fire eliminating him in the gunfight.

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Musa was considered to be the successor of another militant, Burhan Wani, as the leader of the militant group Hizbul Mujahideen after Wani was killed in July 2016. The cell was never thought to number more than a dozen people, and the strength of its links to al-Qaida were never clear, but its creation was seen as the deepest inroad the terrorist group had made in Kashmir.

They said two terrorists were killed in the encounter but there was no confirmation about their identities as the bodies were yet to be retrieved.

File image of Zakir Musa. Weapons and warlike stores recovered.

However, with news of the killing trickling out, unrest has already started, he says.

His killing triggered violent anti-India protests in many places. "The police have been retaliating with tear gas shells and pellet guns", Mr Yasir added. The authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions in vast parts of the Valley, especially south Kashmir and capital Srinagar.

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