Top Lashkar leader, Abu Qasim, behind Udhampur attack, killed in Kashmir encounter
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant Abu Qasim, the alleged mastermind of the Udhampur attack on a BSF bus on 5 August, has been killed in a gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Thursday.
Srinagar: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant Abu Qasim, the alleged mastermind of the Udhampur attack on a BSF bus on 5 August, has been killed in a gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir, police said on Thursday.
"Abu Qasim, the operational commander of the LeT, was killed during the night in an ambush by the security forces in Khandaypora village of Kulgam district," a police officer said.
Security forces laid an ambush in the area following specific information about the movements of the LeT commander.
"Abu Qasim fell into the ambush along with an accomplice. Abu Qasim was killed in the first contact (exchange of gunfire)," the officer said, adding the killing was a major success for the security forces. The officer said the LeT commander was active in the state for the last six years and was the most wanted militant commander in Jammu and Kashmir.
Sporadic exchange of fire is under way in the area.
The Hindu reports that the search operation had been going since Tuesday, but Qasim managed to escape. On Wednesday afternoon, security forces and Qasim and other militants engaged in an encounter in the Bhutoo forest. One soldier of the army’s 14 Rashtriya Rifles lost his life in the encounter. Qasim escaped again before the security forces caught up to him on Wednesday night.
Qasim is not only suspected to be behind the Udhampur attack but also of killing Altaf Ahmad, the top counter-insurgency officer in Kashmir. The Hindu reports that he is also allegedly behind other attacks in the Valley, such as the Hyderpora attack in 2013 and the Silver Star hotel attack in 2012.
With inputs from IANS
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