Mohammad Qasim Replaces Deceased Yaseen Matoo as Field Commander
Qasim was made the new commander of Hizb at a meeting of the outfit’s command council chaired by Syed Salahuddin.
Hizbul Mujahideen, on 14 August, named Mohammad bin Qasim as its "field operational commander" in Kashmir in place of Yaseen Yattoo who was killed on Sunday in a fierce gunbattle with security forces in Shopian district.
Qasim was made the new commander of Hizb at a meeting of the outfit's command council chaired by Syed Salahuddin in Muzaffarabad (in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir), a spokesman of the outfit said in a statement.
Salahuddin said the high number of killings of militants in encounters were because of "traitors" and "Indian agents".
Yattoo, alias 'Gaznavi', and his two associates were killed on 13 August in an encounter that began on Saturday night in Awnira village of Shopian district in south Kashmir.
In the encounter, two armymen were also killed and three others, including a Major, were injured.
Yattoo, who hailed from Budgam district of central Kashmir, had a long association with Hizbul Mujahideen and was responsible for keeping alive the prolonged unrest of 2016 following the killing of group's commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on 8 July.
He had also played key role in recruiting several young men into the outfit, according to the police.
Yattoo had joined Hizbul Mujahideen in 1996 but had surrendered in 2007 and was later released on parole in 2014.
Subsequently, he had joined the militant group again and was its self-styled chief operations commander.
Along with him, the security forces killed Umar Majeed, who hailed from Shopian, and Irfan, a tech-savvy militant involved in online propaganda for the militant outfit.
(Love your mother tongue? This Independence Day, tell The Quint why and how you love your bhasha. You may even win a BOL t-shirt! Sing, write, perform, spew poetry – whatever you like – in your mother tongue. Send us your BOL at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp it to 9910181818.)
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.