| Srinagar |
Published:January 20, 2017 3:22 am
The nephew of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operations chief and Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was killed in the Valley Thursday. Abu Musaib was killed in an early morning encounter with security forces in Hajin, a village in Bandipore district of north Kashmir.
“Yes, he (Abu Musaib) was Lakhvi’s nephew. He was his brother’s son,” IGP (Kashmir) Javid Mujataba Gilani told The Indian Express. “He had been active in the Valley since August 2015.”
Vikramjit Singh, commanding officer of 13 Rashtriya Rifles, said: “Based on specific intelligence inputs, a joint operation was conducted by 13 RR, J&K Police and CRPF in Hajin. In this operation, one heavily armed foreign terrorist was eliminated. The slain terrorist has been identified as Abu Musaib, top LeT commander from Bandipore district.”
Police sources said Musaib, along with other Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, had infiltrated into the Valley in August 2015 and had been operating in Bandipore district. Police said he entered the Valley through the Gurez sector.
The Lashkar’s then Valley chief and Udhampur attack mastermind Qasim had gone to Bandipore to receive Musaib and his associates. But Qasim had to return to his south Kashmir base after a brief encounter with a police team that was following him — in that incident, J&K Police lost its top counter-insurgency officer, Altaf Ahmad, better known as Altaf Laptop. The Lashkar then sent another local militant to receive the group and move them to south Kashmir but he was killed in an encounter in Bandipore before he could meet the infiltrating group.
The group then stationed itself in Bandipore and operated in Hajin and surrounding areas. A senior police officer said Musaib was the Lashkar divisional commander. He was said to have been the mastermind of an attack on the CRPF at Nowhatta in Srinagar in which a commandant was killed.
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