Burhan’s ‘successors’ surface on social media

SRINAGAR (TIP): For the first time after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, a video of the group has surfaced on social media featuring two militants one of whom is likely his successor.

In the over one-minute video Sabzar Ahmad and Zakir Rashid Bhat are seen in Army fatigues at an undisclosed forest area in south Kashmir. While the video is being circulated through social networking sites, there is no audio message in it.

After the killing of Burhan, Hizbul Mujahideen had named Mehmood Ghaznavi as the new commander of the outfit and police and intelligence agencies were trying to ascertain his identity. They, however, suspect that that one of the two Sabzar or Zakir, both residents of Tral, may have replaced Burhan.

In the video, Sabzar in Army fatigues along with other associates is seen waving to the camera. Zakir is seen playing on his mobile phone. One of the militants, whose identity is yet not known, in the video is seen handling his gun.

Both Sabzar and Zakir are among the new crop of young militants who were close confidantes of Burhan, and whose death triggered a massive unrest and has kept the Valley on the edge for the past three weeks. “Sabzar and Zakir are also technology-savvy and they know that Burhan owed his ‘popularity’ and ‘status’ among youth, largely to social media, so they will also follow his footsteps. This first video after the death of Burhan, showing both Sabzar and Zakir is a hint towards their future strategy,” said a security official, adding that were trying to ascertain the identity of other militants in the video.

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