Srinagar: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander and the main accused of Amarnath Yatra attack Abu Ismail along with an associate Abu Kasim were killed in a brief gunbattle with security forces in Aarigam area of Nowgam on the outskirts of Srinagar on Thursday, police said.
Two AK 47s were also recovered from the encounter site in Nowgam.
Both Ismail and Kasim were from Pakistan, IGP Kashmir, Muneer Khan said.
Abu Ismail was involved in 15 FIRs, the IGP said.
The police officials said that the slain LeT commander Abu Ismail was wanted in a number of terror incidents including the July 10, 2017 killing of seven Amarnath pilgrims including six women and injuring 19 others in southern Anantnag district.
It was the worst attack on the Amarnath Yatra since 2000.
The police said that the security forces launched an operation in Nowgam’s Aarigam area on Thursday afternoon on learning about the presence of militants.
They claimed that the militants opened fire at them as they moved in a particular quarter of the village and that in the ensuing ‘brief gun battle’ Abu Ismail and his accomplice were killed.
Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police, Shesh Paul Vaid, confirmed Abu Ismail’s killing. He tweeted, “Main accused of Amarnath yatra attack Abu Ismail & his associate Abu Kasim eliminated today in Nowgam. Keet it up my @JmuKmrPolice boys.”
Main accused of Amarnath Yatra attack Abu Ismail & his associate Abu Kasim eliminated today in Nowgam. Keep it up my @JmuKmrPolice boys! 🇮🇳— Shesh Paul Vaid (@spvaid) September 14, 2017
His counterpart in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar said, "This is a huge achievement. The terrorist was responsible for the attack on Amarnath Yatra”. The CRPF along with the Jammu and Kashmir police’s counterinsurgency Special Operations Group (SOG) and the Army’s Rashtriya Rifles were part of the operation.
Mobile Internet services in Srinagar have been blocked following the killing of the LeT commander “as a precautionary measure” to prevent a law and order situation arising.
Earlier two suspected over-ground workers of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen outfit were arrested by the police in frontier Kupwara district. The duo was taken into custody from Kupwara’s Handwara area separately and the police claimed recovering a hand grenade from them.
They have been identified as Waheed Ahmed Bhat who was arrested during routine checking at a makeshift checkpoint and Muhammad Shafi Mir from that in Qalamabad village.