STATE TIMES NEWS
SRINAGAR: The Jaish-e-Mohammed suffered a jolt on Thursday when security forces killed two of its members, including one of its oldest terrorists nicknamed ‘Ali’, at Sopore in north Kashmir.
Located 60 kilometers from here, Sopore, the apple town of the Valley, witnessed a heavy exchange of fire early on Thursday after police and other security forces cordoned off a house in the Chinkipora area.
There was credible intelligence about the presence of Jaish terrorists and forces were deployed. The terrorists opened indiscriminate fire, resulting in an encounter.
In the gunfight, the security personnel killed Ali alias Athar and Zia-ur-Rehman. They belonged to Pakistan, police said.
Ali, who had infiltrated into the Valley in 2014, was one of the oldest terrorists of the Jaish-e-Mohammed and was involved in the killing of civilians, attacks on security forces and detonating Improvised Explosive Devices in north Kashmir.
Ali was the mastermind of the IED explosion in January this year in which four policemen were killed, they said.
Thirty-seven terrorists of the Jaish-e-Mohammed have been killed this year. They included Mufti Waqas, the terror group’s chief operation commander, and Mehmood, its north Kashmir commander.
During Thursday’s gunfight, police evacuated civilians from the encounter site to safer areas before engaging the terrorists, they said.
Some arms, ammunition and incriminating material were recovered from the encounter site, a police spokesman said.
Police also recovered fake Aadhaar cards from the killed terrorists which might have been used by the duo to conceal their identity.
Meanwhile, a suspected terrorist and an over-ground worker (OGW) have been detained in Ganderbal district, police said on Thursday.
“A terrorist and a main handler were detained today with the help of community,” a police spokesman said.
“An active terrorist alias Talha Umair alias Abu Hamza, affiliated with a proscribed terror outfit from Sehpora village in Ganderbal, who had joined the terrorism earlier this year, has been detained with persistent efforts of District Police Ganderbal and his family,” he said.
While the spokesman did not identify the terrorist with his real name or disclose which outfit he belonged to, police sources said he was affiliated to the Zakir Musa-led Ansar-Gazwat-ul-Hind (AGUH) an affiliate of al-Qaeda in the Valley.
“The main handler namely Ishfaq Ahmad Dar, also a resident of Sehpora, who has been instrumental in persuading him to join terrorist ranks, has also been detained by the police for questioning,” the spokesman said.
He said few more arrests were expected in the coming days.
The spokesman said the detained terrorist was involved in a weapon snatching case near the Kashmir University at Hazratbal here earlier this year.
Investigation pertaining to the aforesaid case is also in progress, he said.
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