Major success for troops, LeT div comdr killed

Fayaz Bukhari

Army personnel along with dead body of LeT divisional commander in Handwara on Sunday.  -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi
Army personnel along with dead body of LeT divisional commander in Handwara on Sunday. -Excelsior/Aabid Nabi

SRINAGAR, June 1:  Security forces today achieved a major success by killing a top Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander in North Kashmir’s Handwara area early this morning.
The Superintendent of Police Handwara, Maqsudul Zaman told Excelsior that security forces killed divisional commander of the LeT, Shaad Mohammad alias Shahid alias Abu Ukasha Afghani in village Sudal area of Magam, Handwara in the frontier district of Kupwara early this morning.
Zaman said that acting on a specific information Handwara police along with 47 RR, 21 RR and 6 RR of Army launched a cordon and search operation in village Sudal area of Magam in Handwara, this morning. He said that the LeT commander was hiding in a cow shed when the operation was launched.
He said that the militant fired upon the troops that led to a gun battle in which he was killed. One Pistol, one magazine with 15 rounds, one map and one matrix sheet was recovered from him.
The SP said that the LeT commander was operating in North Kashmir for past 4-5 years. He said that the militant commander was Pushtu speaking and was also speaking broken Urdu. “He was hailing from Deer area of NWFP region in Pakistan. He was operating in Handwara Kupwara Lolab and Srinagar and had established a strong network of the Over Ground Workers”, he added.
Zaman said that the LeT commander was involved in the attack on an Army convoy in Kupwara and killing of head constable, killing besides several other militancy related incidents. “We were tracking him for past three months when he fled from security forces cordon in February this year from Lolab forests”, he added.
Sources said that he was mostly guiding the LeT militants in forests of North Kashmir and had personally constructed hideouts in the Rajwar forests of Handwara. The LeT commander fled from security cordon when 7 militants were killed in Lolab forests in February this year.
A Srinagar based defence spokesman said here that on specific intelligence, a joint operation was launched by Rashtriya Rifle Unit and JKP in Sudal area of Handwara, resulting in killing of a LeT divisional commander of foreign origin and recovery of arms and ammunition.
The spokesman said that the suspected house was effectively cordoned. “First contact was established at about 0400 hrs, when the terrorist opened indiscriminate fire on the troops who were in the process of tightening the noose on the terrorist holed up in the animal shed.  The fire was effectively retaliated and an intense gunfight ensued, resulting in killing of the terrorist. The slain militant has been identified as Abu Quasha belonging to the LeT cadre and has been operating as the divisional commander.  Subsequent search of the site of operation resulted in the recovery of one 9mm pistol, one magazine with 15 rounds and one matrix sheet”, the spokesman added.
The spokesman said that the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 15 Corps, Lieutenant General Gurmit Singh appreciated the Army and the SOG personnel for the operation conducted in a thoroughly professional and surgical manner. “The terrorist killed in this operation was the seventh top terrorist commander killed in 2014. In 2013, 10 top commanders were killed”, the spokesman added.


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