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Top Indian Counterinsurgency Officer Killed In Kashmir

Militants killed a senior Indian Kashmir police commander known for his successful counterinsurgency operations, police said on October 8.

Insurgents fired at Mohammed Altaf as he was leading an operation against militants in northwestern Bandipora on October 7.

Altaf was attempting to find a top commander from the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, who carries a bounty of 2 million Indian rupees ($31,000), when the shooting occurred, police said.

K. Rajendra Kumar, the director-general of Kashmir's police, described Altaf's death as an "irreparable loss."

"We lost one of our most outstanding officers in counterinsurgency...My salute to the martyr," he said.

Altaf was recruited as a constable in 1998 and was awarded the president's gallantry medal. He earned several promotions for his formidable intelligence-gathering skills and success in hunting down top rebel leaders.

Since 1989, militants have been fighting for Kashmir's independence or merger with Pakistan. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the violence.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP