Hizbul Mujahideen, TRF quibble over credit for Handwara terror attack

<br>While one of the Hizbul terrorists made an audio call to his aide during the encounter with the Indian security forces in Handwara, claiming responsibility for the terror attack, TRF has been posting pictures of the two terrorists taking credit for the same.

Two terrorists were killed after they had been challenged by Indian security forces in an eight hour-long gun battle in Handwara town of Kupwara district on Saturday.

One Colonel, one Major, two soldiers of 21 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) unit of India Army and one sub-inspector of Jammu and Kashmir Police (JKP) also lost their lives in the anti-terror operation.

In the audio call, a clip of which has been accessed by IANS, one of the two terrorists informed a Hizbul member about the encounter in which he and his partner were trapped with injuries in Handwara.

Amidst the thrumming of gunshots, the terrorist identified as Tariq, is heard telling the Hizbul member, whose identity or location was not apparent from the audio clip, that he suspects his location may have been revealed to Indian security forces by a member of the TRF, a smokescreen for the LeT headed by Mumbai attack mastermind, Hafiz Saeed.

The Hizbul member is heard comforting Tariq in his last moments and hailing the “martyrdom” of the two terrorists for the religious cause.

Hizbul Mujahideen is based in Pakistan and headed by Syed Salahuddin.

Incidentally, way before the encounter ended, TRF, had claimed responsibility for the terror attack on social media and Telegram channels.

Declaring the two terrorists as their “martyrs”, TRF circulated pictures of two terrorists with their utensils, cooking and eating, somewhere in open.

Another picture circulated on social media by TRF channels was of a hand with a weapon. From pictures, it appeared, the location and the identity of the two terrorists wasn't clear.

TRF's another pseudonym The Joint Kashmir Front (TJKF) also posted similar content with details about the encounter on its Facebook page.

A turf war between the globally banned terror groups and the newly formed fronts, both sponsored by ISI, has emerged in the last few months as the latter are attempting to replace the former in view of the mounting pressure from international community on Pakistan to curb cross-border terrorism in India.

Recently, a Hizbul commander in Kashmir defected to TRF after his disagreement with chief Riyaz Naikoo.

Naikoo is believed to be upset with his boss in Pakistan, Syed Salahuddin for being “soft” since India abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir last August and for not giving Hizbul in Kashmir the same importance as before.


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