SRINAGAR: The Pakistani militant wanted in last year’s militant attack on a BSF convoy in Srinagar-Jammu national highway in Udhampur has been killed by the security forces.
“We have identified two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants killed in gunfight with security forces in Padampora village in Awantipora in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district yesterday,” a security official said.
He said the slain militants have been identified as Abu Okasha and Abu Hafiz, both LeT commanders and hailing from Pakistan.
The official said Okasha was being hunted by security forces for his involvement in last year’s militant attack on BSF convoy in Udhampur in which two border guards were killed and 12 others injured. A Pakistani militant Noman was killed in the retaliatory firing while another Pakistani militant Mohammad Naved was arrested.
The NIA, which is probing the Udhampur attack case, had announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh on Okasha’s head for his involvement in the attack.
Sources said after his name figured in the Udhampur attack case, security agencies in Kashmir were hunting for him alongwith other LeT militants.
“Security forces managed to kill some top Lashkar militants including its Kashmir chief Abu Qasim in last few months. We were hunting for Okasha and Qasim’s former deputy and now Laskar chief in Kashmir Abu Dujana,” they said.
The continued surveillance of the militants, sources said, yielded positive results and “We managed to track a big group of about 12 Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Padampora village in Awantipora yesterday.”
“We killed two militants while rest of them fled during the course of gunfight,” they said and termed the killing of Okasha as yet another setback to the Lashkar-e-Toiba.
They said they have got reports that Abu Dujana was also among the militants, who managed to escape from the area during the course of gunfight.
A police official said Dujana may have escaped this time but luck will soon desert him. “We have upped the manhunt to track him down and soon we will be able to eliminate him”.
Lashkar has suffered severe jolt after the killing of Abu Qasim and other militants of the group.
Abu Qasim, who was active in the Valley for 5 years and was mastermind of all major attacks on security forces during the period, was killed in an encounter with security forces in October last year.