Militants offer ‘gun salute’ at LeT commander’s funeral in Kashmir

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Srinagar, June 17 (IANS) Several armed militants on Saturday appeared at the funeral of Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Junaid Mattoo in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district and offered a “gun salute” as tens of hundreds attended the funeral.

Mattoo was killed along with two of his associates in Arwani village of the district district in a gunfight with the security forces on Friday.

He was buried in Khudwani village, where hundreds of mourners offered the slain LeT commander’s funeral prayers.

Reports said before the burial of the commander four funeral prayers were offered by mourners, who came to the village from all areas around the village and even from other parts of south Kashmir.

The security forces avoided a face off with the people by allowing them to attend the funeral.

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Mattoo, a notorious militant was LeT district commander and took part in a number of militant activities. He was involved in the killing of a police constable on Thursday in Kulgam’s Bogund area and also in the killing of an assistant sub-inspector and a constable near a bus stand in Anantnag last year, police said.

Arms, ammunition, magazines and grenades were recovered from the site of the shootout on Friday.

When the security forces were cordoning off a house where the militants were holed up on Friday, locals started pelting stones at the security forces and clashed with them. Two locals were killed in firing.

In reprisal killings, LeT militants ambushed a police jeep and killed six policemen, including a Station House Officer, and disfigured their bodies on Friday evening.

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Authorities have imposed restrictions in Srinagar and other sensitive places in the Valley on Saturday, while separatists have called for a protest shutdown against the killing of the LeT militants.



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