SRINAGAR: Security forces achieved a major success on Saturday when they killed Jaish-e-Mohammad chief commander Qari Yasir, who had played a key supervisory role in the Pulwama terror attack last year, in a fierce encounter at Burhan Wani’s hometown of Tral in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Two associates of Qari were also killed in the gunfight that erupted this morning after security forces cordoned off Hariparagam in Tral following intelligence inputs suggesting the presence of high value target in the village.

Police said they have averted a major tragedy as the three ultras were allegedly planning to carry out a major Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on Republic day in the summer capital city of Srinagar.

Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Vijay Kumar said the trio was planning to carry out a major Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast on the occasion of Republic Day in Srinagar.

“We had inputs about the presence of three militants in the area. They were planning to carry out major IED blast on Republic Day in Srinagar. All the three militants have been neutralized. One of them has been identified as Qari Yasir, self-styled chief commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad”, said Kumar.

Police suspects that two of the slain militants are Burhan and Musa, who were wanted in different incidents of militancy.

General Officer Commanding (GOC), 15 Corps, Lieutenant General KJS Dhillon said they have wiped out Jaish-e-Mohommad from south Kashmir with the killing of three top commanders. “Trio was planning some act of terrorism. Today morning an operation was launched in which three militants were killed. With their killing, Jaish has been wiped out in Kashmir”, he said.

Lt Gen Dhillon said Qari had a supervisory role in the Pulwama terror attack on February 14 last year. Forty CRPF soldiers were killed and dozens others injured when a local Jaish-e-Mohommad suicide bomber Adil Dar rammed his ECCO van into their convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu National highway at Lethpora in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

In a separate incident, army and police jointly raided five different places and arrested seven persons affiliated with Lashkar-e-Tioba (LeT) in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

The arrested youth were identified as Altaf Ahmed Dar, Hilal Ali Wani, Irshad Mohiuddin Sheikh, Wasim Ahmed Khan, Ashiq Nabi Ganai, Sameer Nabi Najar and Amir Subhan Bhat.

“It is a big success for us. We have busted a support base of LeT militant outfit and arrested at least seven ‘Over Ground Workers. “These workers were providing logistic and financial support to LeT militants,” said Rahul Malik, Senior Superintendent of Police, Bandipora.

SPP Bandipora , who was flanked by Commanding Officers 13 and 14 Rashtriya Rifles Colonel Kamal Thapa and Colonel Pawan Josh,i said that arms and ammunition were also recovered from these workers. “We recovered two pistols, two UBGL, six UBGL magazines, 10 AK-47 magazines and 512 rounds of AK-47 rifle,” he said.

Ishfaq Ul Hassan

An accredited journalist with 22 years of professional experience, Ishfaq-Ul-Hassan has worked as a reporter based in Kashmir for two decades. He has covered various beats including militancy, politics, defence, minorities, social issues, religious groups and women issues in Kashmir. He had previously worked as Special Correspondent in Jammu and Kashmir for DNA (Daily News and Analysis) Newspaper for 13 years. Ishfaq is also associated with the New Delhi- based television company `Asia Pacific Communication Associates� which produced the famous series �Subah-Bakhar-Kashmir� for satellite Kashmir channel of Doordarshan. In 2004, he was awarded the Charkha-Sanjoy Ghosh Fellowship for Peace and Development for his research on families divided across the LOC in Kashmir.

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