Srinagar, Jan 19: A top Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander, Abu Musaib, was killed in an encounter in Hajin area of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district today.
Acting on specific information about the presence of militants in Para Mohalla locality of Hajin, Police, Army’s 13 RR and 45 CRPF battalion cordoned off the area and launched the search operation.
The militant opened fire on the joint search party, triggering an encounter in which LeT commander Abu Musaib of of Pakistan was killed. One AK-56, 66 rounds, 3 magazines, one radio set and grenades were recovered from the encounter site.
Sources said that the slain was active in Bandipora and Ganderbal areas since August 2015. He was believed to be involved in many militancy related activities which included weapon snatching of Army personnel of 14 RR in Bandipora in October 2015. In 2016 he was involved in injuring a civilian at Hajin, and firing on the Army patrol of 13 RR in which two Army personnel were killed.
Sources said that he was heading a group of 16-17 militants of LeT, who are operating in Bandipora district. They said that a he was responsible for launching militants from Bandipora area of North Kashmir to South Kashmir including Fidayeen who attacked EDI in Pampore area of Pulwama twice last year, CRPF convoy in Pampore and Fidayeen in Nowhatta last year.
The said that he was in direct contact with top commanders of the LeT in Pakistan and was receiving infiltrated groups from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and then launching to other parts of Kashmir.
The Commanding Officer of the 13-Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Colonel Vikramjeet Singh, described the killing of Abu Musaib a major success for the security forces and a big blow to LeT in Bandipora.
Addressing a press conference at Manasbal in Bandipora, Colonel Singh said: “On the basis of specific intelligence input, a joint operation was launched by 13 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Jammu and Kashmir Police in Hajan village. In this operation, a heavily armed foreign terrorist was eliminated. During the conduct of this operation we have ensured that there is no collateral damage or loss to civilian life. This slain terrorist has been identified as Abu Musaib, a top LeT commander of Bandipora district. We have recovered a large quantity of war like stores from the slain terrorist”.
The CO said that he was trying to re-establish LeT presence in Bandipora district.