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10 Jaish Terrorists Killed in Kashmir Since Pulwama Attack, Hunt On For Other Active Recruits

Officials said, there are still about sixty Jaish militants active in the Valley, half of whom are locals, while the other half have infiltrated from across the border.

Aakash Hassan | News18.com@Aakashhassan

Updated:February 27, 2019, 5:46 PM IST
10 Jaish Terrorists Killed in Kashmir Since Pulwama Attack, Hunt On For Other Active Recruits
Representative image

Srinagar: The forces launched a search operation in the Mimando area of Shopian, Jammu and Kashmir, and killed two Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants on Wednesday. Among them, one was a resident from south Kashmir, while the other was a Pakistani.

A massive hunt is on for Jaish militants in the Valley since a local youth, Aadil Dar, claiming allegiance to proscribed outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), blew himself up after ramming an explosives-laden car at a CRPF convoy bus in Pulwama killing 40 paramilitary personnel.

Three days after the tragedy, the forces killed the mastermind of the attack, Kamran, and two of his associates in the same district. Four soldiers, including an Army major, and a civilian were also killed in the encounter.

Two days after killing Kamran, the forces killed two militants in north Kashmir’s Sopore. The gunfight went on for 20 hours. One among the militants was a local, while the other was from Pakistan.

On February 24, another major operation against the Jaish was launched in Turigam village of Kulgam district in south Kashmir in which three Jaish operatives were eliminated.

Two among the three militants were Pakistani, while one was an Indian.

A deputy superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir police, Aman Thakur, who was leading the operation, and a jawan also died in the operation.

At least 10 militants have been killed in Kashmir since the Pulwama strike all of whom reportedly had been recruited by the Pakistan-based JeM.

JeM is headed by Maulana Masood Azhar, who had travelled to Srinagar on a fake identity and was arrested near Khanabal in early 1994.

He was released by the Indian government in 1999 in exchange for 176 Indian passengers taken hostage after an Indian Airlines plane was hijacked on its way from Nepal.

Soon after his release, Azhar created Jaish-e-Mohammad and started launching attacks in Kashmir and other parts of India. He is also held responsible for the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament.

The forces have now launched a massive crackdown to wipe out the Jaish ranks.

“We have successfully managed to kill their major faces in Kashmir. Most of them were from Pakistan,” said a police official.

Earlier two nephews of Azhar, Talha and Osman, were killed. However, local Jaish recruits pose a key challenge to the forces.

“The JeM is recruiting local youths and preparing them for suicide attacks and that is what we have to work on,” a senior police officer said.

Like Adil Dar, the 19-year-old Kashmiri suicide bomber of the Pulwama attack, Jaish has been using Kashmiri recruits to carry out similar strikes.

Over a year ago, the 17-year-old son of a policeman, Fardeen Ahmad Khanday, from the Tral area in Pulwama, along with another local recruit and a Pakistani militant, entered the training centre of the 185th battalion of the CRPF and started indiscriminate firing and lobbed grenades.

Fardeen and his associates engaged the forces for nearly 40 hours and were eliminated after they killed five jawans.

On Monday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said it had managed to identify the vehicle that used in the Pulwama attack on February 14. The owner of the vehicle was identified as Sajjad Bhat from the Sangam area of Anantnag district.

However, Bhat too has reportedly joined the Jaish.

Investigators have said 25kg of RDX was used in the attack. The investigations have also found that the bus which came under attack was the fifth in the 78-vehicle convoy. The suicide bomber was waiting for the convoy in a by-lane and as soon as it crossed, he entered the highway from the left side and detonated the explosives when the bus was on his right.

According to sources in the Army and police, the operations against the Jaish will continue in the valley.

About 280 militants, including 160 locals and 120 foreigners, are still active in the Valley.

Officials said, there are still about sixty Jaish militants active in the Valley, half of whom are locals, while the other half have infiltrated from across the border.

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