This 20-yr-old Kashmiri killed a militant, shot another

Rukhsana Kausar

Displaying rare courage, a 20-year-old Kashmiri woman axed to death an armed Lashkar-e-Toiba commander and then, along with her 18-year-old brother, snatched guns and opened fire on two other militants, wounding one and forcing them to flee. The incident took place at Shahdra Sharief in the Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir late Sunday night.

Police identified the dead militant as Uzafa Shah, a Pakistani national who had been operating in the Rajouri-Poonch area for the last four years. He was said to be the only Lashkar commander in the area who had survived.

Rajouri SSP Shafqat Watali said police found a blood trail, suggesting that one of the militants who fled was wounded. One even left behind his weapon. The family handed over an AK-56 and an AK-47 to the police. DIG SDS Jamwal said the family retaliated when the militants made an attempt to molest the 20-year-old.

Three militants came to the Bhatti Mohalla in Upper Shahdra Sharief around 9.30 pm Sunday and went to the house of one Waqalat Hussain. They asked him to accompany them to the adjoining house of his elder brother, Noor Hussain.

When Noor Hussain did not open the door, the militants broke open a window and entered the house. By then, Noor Hussain and his wife Rashida Begum had hidden daughter Rukhsana Kausar beneath a cot. On not finding Rukhsana, the militants started beating Rashida. Son Aijaz Ahmed tried to pick up a lathi but one of the militants hit him.

It was at this point that Rukhsana emerged from her hiding place with an axe and hit the Lashkar commander on his head. One of the militants opened fire, the bullet striking Waqalat Hussain in the arm. Other family members jumped in, joining Rukhsana who was battling the militants.

Rukhsana picked up the Lashkar commander's gun, snatched another from one of the militants and tossed it to her brother. Both then opened fire, wounding one of the militants and forcing them to flee.

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