SRINAGAR: Army on Monday said mastermind of last month's fidayeen attack on an army camp at Sunjwan, Jammu was killed in a gunfight in Awantipora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir.
Defence spokesman in Srinagar, Colonel Rajesh Kalia said acting on specific intelligence about the presence of top Jaish-e-Mohammad, 50 Rashtria Rifles, police and paramilitary CRPF men launched a joint combing and search operation in Hatwar area of Awantipora in Pulwama this afternoon.
He said the Jaish Operational commander Mufti Waqas alias Abu Arsalan, who was trapped in the area, was killed in a surgical operation.
Kalia said the slain militant, who was a Pakistani national, was the mastermind of February 10 fidayeen attack on army camp at Sunjwan, Jammu in which six army men including two Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and civilian were killed. Three attackers were also killed in the two-day long gunfight in the army camp.
A security official termed the killing of Waqas as a great setback for the revival of Jaish in the Valley.
Waqas was appointed as Jaish operation commander after killing of his predecessor Noor Mohammad Tantrey in the encounter with security forces in December last year.
A police official said the deceased besides being the mastermind of Sunjwan army camp attack was also the chief architect of attacks on security forces including DPL Pulwama on August 26, 2017, and CRPF camp at Lethpora on January 1, 2018.
He said Waqas was also responsible for radicalising the local boys and luring them into the militancy.
Two local youths had for the first time participated in two fidayeen attacks in the Valley last year.
The official said one weapon, warlike stores and other incriminating material was recovered from the possession of the slain militant commander.