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India kills top JeM commander

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Indian soldiers stand guard at the site of the explosion which killed 40 paramilitary policemen in Indian-controlled Kashmir on February 14. ANI

SRINAGAR (ANI) – Security forces killed Mudasir a top Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) commander and “key conspirator” of the Pulwama attack along with a Pakistani terrorist, lending a major success to their all-out efforts to eliminate the top leadership of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit in Kashmir.

Commander of Army’s Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen K. J. S. Dhillon said here on Monday that 18 terrorists, including two top conspirators of the Pulwama attack, have been killed in the last three weeks. Of them, 14 belonged to JeM, he said. “We have gone very very forcefully against Jaish, so that they are not able to carry out any further attacks…. We have gone against Jaish to eliminate its top leadership… The main conspirators Kamran and Mudasir have been eliminated,” Lt Gen Dhillon said, addressing a press conference jointly with CRPF Inspector General Zulfikar Hassan and Inspector General of Jammu and Kashmir Police S. P. Pani.

While Mr Kamran, a Pakistani-terrorist and mastermind of the Pulwama attack, was killed on February 18, Mr Mudasir, a local, was eliminated along with Pakistani terrorist Khalid in an encounter in Tral area of south Kashmir.

“Mr Mudasir was one of main conspirators who coordinated the (Pulwama) attack,” Lt Gen Dhillon said.

Asked who had fabricated the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that was used to target the CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14, he said the matter is being investigated.

Mr Mudasir’s body was identified by his family members and he has been buried, Lt Gen Dhillon added.

He said that while focussing on Jaish, the security forces have not stopped targeting the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen outfits.

“Lashkar and Hizbul are also on the radar,” Lt Gen Dhillon said, adding two each from the terrorist groups had been killed over the last few days.

To questions over the number of people involved in the Pulwama attack, he refused to share details, saying the matter is under investigation and “there are a lot of positive leads that are being pursued.”

The CRPF IG said the killing of Mr Mudasir was “doubly significant” for his force as the slain terrorist was involved, not only in the attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama, but also on a CRPF camp in December 2017.

“I congratulate all the security forces. It was a clean operation. But the job is not done yet,” Mr Zulfikar added.

He said the people who radicalised Mr Mudasir and supplied explosives to him, will be dealt with.

“We are working in close coordination with the National Investigation Agency. I am sure the rest of those involved in the Pulwama attack will be dealt with,” he said, adding that anyone who raises the gun against the country will be dealt with accordingly.

The CRPF IG also said that after the attack on convoy, “we are learning lessons.” he said, adding that various initiatives have been taken but details cannot be shared.

Mr Pani said significant gains have been made over the last fortnight in efforts to break the back of terrorism in Kashmir.

Both he and Lt Gen Dhillon said the recruitment of locals for terrorism in Kashmir had come down in the last three months.

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