Srinagar, Aug 1 (IANS) A top Pakistani militant who carried a reward of Rs 15 lakh on his head was killed along with a local associate in fighting with security forces on Tuesday in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, police said.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police called the killing of Abu Dujana, whom they described as Lashkar-e-Taiba commander active in southern Kashmir since 2012, as a “huge achievement”.
His local accomplice was identified as Arif Lalihaari. They were killed in Hakripora village. “(A) huge achievement for the police and security forces,” the police tweeted.
Dujana, a resident of Gilgit-Baltistan region in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir, was said to be responsible for a number of attacks on Indian security forces, including the August 2015 Udhampur strike that left two Border Security Force troopers dead and 12 injured.
An LeT terrorist was killed in that attack.
“The killing of Abu Dujana and Lalihaari is a big success for the security forces and a huge setback to terrorist activities in south Kashmir,” a police official said.
Acting on information about the presence of Dujana and Lalihaari, the security forces surrounded the Hakripora village at about 3 a.m. on Tuesday, triggering a gunfight.
“The operation ended after bodies of the two militants were recovered from the site and identified,” the police officer said.
Two houses in the village were destroyed in the gunfight.
Meanwhile, clashes broke out between the security forces and stone-pelting protesters as news of Dujana’s death spread.
Three protesters were admitted to hospitals with bullet injuries and several others sustained pellet injuries in the clashes.
Authorities have suspended Internet services in south Kashmir.
Train services between Bannihal town in Jammu region and Baramulla in the Kashmir Valley were also suspended.
The police, however, said Dujana had broken loose from the LeT in last few months after which he established close proximity with Zakir Musa, another Pakistani who was recently appointed the head of Al Qaeda terror outfit in the Kashmir Valley.
Dujana was replaced by Abu Muhammad Ismail as the Divisional Commander of the LeT, a Pakistan-based group that masterminded the 2008 Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 Indians and foreigners.
Ismail had carried out the July 10 attack on an Amarnath Yatra bus in Anantnag district which killed eight pilgrims.