Srinagar: Top Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist Noor Mohammad Tantray, considered the brain behind the terror outfit's revival in the Valley, was killed in an encounter with security forces in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, an Army official said.
The 47-year-old was wanted in various terror incidents earlier this year, including a suicide attack at the BSF camp at Srinagar airport, and had become an irritant for the security forces.
"The divisional commander of JeM, Noor Mohammad Tantray alias Noor Trali, was killed in a gunbattle with security forces in Samboora area of Pulwama," the official said.
He said that the body of Tantray, who was a little over four feet tall, was recovered along with one weapon this morning.
A crack team of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, acting on a specific input, had cordoned off a cluster of houses at Samboora which resulted in a fierce gun battle leading to the elimination of the top JeM commander.
A police spokesman termed the killing a "significant breakthrough" for the security forces and said the slain terrorist was convicted in a case registered in 2003 in Delhi.
He was serving a sentence at Central Jail Srinagar and was out on parole in 2015, the spokesman said.
Consequently, he remained in Tral at South Kashmir and became a major overground worker of the JeM in the region, they said.
In July 2017, after the Aripal encounter in which three JeM terrorists were killed, Tantray went underground and soon became the key man of the terror outfit in coordinating and organising attacks at different places, he said.
He was one of the chief architects of the attack on BSF camp near Srinagar airport in October, the spokesman said, adding that he was also wanted in a number of terror attacks in south and central Kashmir.
Tantray hailed from Tral area of south Kashmir and his death is being seen as a blow to the terror group as he was the key man in reviving the JeM in south and central Kashmir.