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Lakhs offer prayers on Id-e-Milad
Srinagar, April 11
Id-e-Milad, birthday of Prophet Mohammad, was celebrated today with religious fervour and gaiety in Jammu and Kashmir. Lakhs of devotees thronged mosques after night-long obeisance. The biggest congregation was held at the Hazratbal shrine where the holy relic of Prophet Mohammad has been kept. Devotees have been thronging to the shrine since the beginning of the holy month of Rabi-ul-Awal, third month according to Islamic lunar calendar, till the twelfth day today, the birthday of the Prophet.

JeM faction chief Talabani killed
Srinagar, April 11
In a major breakthrough, the security forces today shot dead the chief of the breakaway group of
Jaish-e-Mohammad, Talabani, and his close aide in an encounter in the Wadwan valley in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, defence sources said here. Talabani and his aide Zargar were killed after a six-day chase by a unit of 7 Rashtriya Rifles in the Pir Panjal range in South Kashmir, the sources said.


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Lakhs offer prayers on Id-e-Milad
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, April 11
Id-e-Milad, birthday of Prophet Mohammad, was celebrated today with religious fervour and gaiety in Jammu and Kashmir. Lakhs of devotees thronged mosques after night-long obeisance.

The biggest congregation was held at the Hazratbal shrine where the holy relic of Prophet Mohammad has been kept. Devotees have been thronging to the shrine since the beginning of the holy month of Rabi-ul-Awal, third month according to Islamic lunar calendar, till the twelfth day today, the birthday of the Prophet.

Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was among those who offered prayers at Hazratbal today. Mr Azad offered Nimaz-e-Zuhar amidst lakhs of devotees. After completion of the prayers, Mr Azad joined with general public in the lawns of the shrine and along with them had a glimpse of the holy relic of Prophet Mohammad.

It is for the first time during the past 20 years that any Chief Minister has mingled with the people on the lawns of holy Hazratbal and remained along with them for 40 minutes.

Thousands of devotees gathered around the Chief Minister and expressed their gratitude for good arrangements for Id-e-Milad-un-Nabi. The Chief Minister was accompanied by Minister for Haj and Auqaf Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed, other party colleagues and senior officials.

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JeM faction chief Talabani killed

Srinagar, April 11
In a major breakthrough, the security forces today shot dead the chief of the breakaway group of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Talabani, and his close aide in an encounter in the Wadwan valley in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, defence sources said here.

Talabani and his aide Zargar were killed after a six-day chase by a unit of 7 Rashtriya Rifles in the Pir Panjal range in South Kashmir, the sources said.

The Army had conducted air-borne surveillance using helicopters to trace the movement of the militants over the past six days, the sources said.

Defence spokesman Lt-Col V.K. Batra confirmed the killing of the two militants, but refused to divulge any further details of the incident, saying the search operation was still in progress.

Two Pakistani militants, who were right hand men of Talabani, were killed in an encounter with the security forces at Sukhnai in the Wadwan valley yesterday.

The slain ultras were identified only by their aliases of Mustakim and Commando.

According to the defence spokesman, the breakaway faction of the JeM had let loose a reign of terror on the locals of the Wadwan valley.

Elsewhere in the valley, four persons, including two militants were killed and a security man was injured in separate incidents, since last night officials said here today.

A self-styled commander of Lashkar-e-Toiba, identified as Shahnawaz Bhat, was killed in an encounter with the security forces at Watnar in the Kokernag area of Anantnag district early today, a defence spokesman said.

One security jawan was injured in the gunbattle, he said.

One AK rifle, three magazines and 120 rounds were seized from the possession of the slain militant.

An unidentified militant was killed in an encounter with security forces at Khrusan-Warnaw in the Lolab area of Kupwara district, he said.

Two AK rifles, two magazines and two UBGL grenades were seized from the possession of the slain militant, he said, adding search operations had been launched in the forest area to hunt his accomplices.

Earlier, the spokesman had identified him as Shabir Ahmad Khan but later admitted that it was a case of mistaken identity. Shabir Khan was also killed accidentally by the security forces in the same area, some distance away, as he started running after being challenged, the spokesman said.

He said despite issuing repeated instructions that civilians should not run away when challenged by the forces, Khan violated the instructions and was killed accidentally.

The police today recovered the body of a police informer from the Kangan area of Srinagar district. Identified as Muzaffar Ahmad Bania, he had been kidnapped by militants last night and shot dead, official sources said. PTI

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