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HC blast accused killed

Srinagar, Dec. 20: A key accused in last year’s Delhi High Court blast was killed in an encounter with security forces in Jammu’s Kishtwar today, ending a 15-month pursuit.

The death of Chhota Hafiz, 26, comes only three months after his wife delivered a girl child, puzzling security forces in Jammu and Kashmir who wondered how he had managed to keep in touch with her despite the hunt.

At least four security personnel, including two gallantry award-winning soldiers, died in encounters during the pursuit.

The National Investigating Agency had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for information leading to the arrest of Hafiz and two other accused involved the blast on September 7, 2011, that killed 17 persons.

In August, Hafiz had released a video denying any role in the attack.