Amarnath attack mastermind killed in Kashmir

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Sources said after Ismail's killing, the LeT is likely to announce 28-year-old Zeenat-ul-Islam as its new operations chief in Kashmir.

He said Ismail was the mastermind of July 10 attack on Amarnath yatris in Botengoo area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district in which eight pilgrims were killed and two dozen others injured.

Major General BS Basu, who heads the Army's Awantipora-based counterinsurgency division Victor Force, described Abu Ismail's killing as a major setback to LeT. In what is being deemed as a success by the security forces in Kashmir, militants are now surrendering in increasing numbers before the police. "We will continue these kinds of operations to neutralise the remnant people which should bring some peace and clam in the valley", said Major General Raju.




In June this year, a list of twelve most-wanted militants was released by the army, following the killing of Sabzar Bhat, the most-wanted Hizb militant. Police sources said he was involved in the recent attack on a bus carrying Hindu pilgrims. Two top Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants Abu Ismail and Abu Qasim were killed in the gun battle. The other slain terrorist has been identified as Chota Qasim. "Priority is to eliminate militant leadership because they lure the youth to militancy", the IGP said. According to the reports from Hindustan Times, security forces working in the region received a report from the intelligence department about the presence of terrorists in the region. After the death Abu Qasim, Abu Dujana took charge and then you had Abu Ismail in-charge of the LeT.

"Militant leadership is important to be neutralised".

When asked who their next "target" is, Khan said, "It's not about the next target. We are looking at serious deficiencies in the LeT leadership which should give us more opportunities", he said. "One foreign and one local terrorist are still left". However, Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander, Riyaz Naikoo, while appearing at the funeral of one of the militants in South Kashmir area of Tahab in Pulwama had said that "efforts are being made to defame the Kashmir freedom struggle".

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