Indian forces kill top LeT militant in Held Kashmir

The big news Modi thanks ‘close friend’ Shinzo Abe for bullet train and nine other top stories

A day after counter-terror forces killed top Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Ismail, speculation was rife that a local Kashmiri terrorist, Zeenat-ul-Islam, may be named his successor.

Major General B S Raju of the Army said the operation was launched by 50 RR after high-level input of the police and it led to a quick conclusion of the operation.

"We could establish contact with the hiding militants around 4.15 p.m and after a brief encounter both terrorists were killed", he said.

Khan said the other terrorist has been identified as Abu Qasim alias Chota Qasim.

Eight pilgrims were killed when militants attacked them on their way to Amarnath in July.

Government forces in Indian-held Kashmir killed a top Islamist militant on Thursday blamed for the murder of eight Hindu pilgrims two months ago.

"Following the killing of the LeT commander, the mobile Internet services in Srinagar have been blocked as a precautionary measure" to prevent a law and order situation arising. Ismail had replaced LeTs, Abu Dujana, as operational chief in Kashmir after Dujana sided himself with Musa. Ismail was also involved in 15 other terror attacks in south Kashmir and bank robberies. "This operation is a result of people's prayers".

Ismail was also the operations chief of the LeT in the valley.

State Director General of Police SP Vaid said since January 147 terrorists have been killed by the security forces in Kashmir so far. The two terrorists were planning a big militant strike in Kashmir after having moved to Srinagar.

The gunfight between militants and a contingent of police and army broke out at village Aarigam-Nowgam in the outskirts of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

It is believed Ismail was helped by members of another militant group Hizbul Mujahideen, which provided logistics during the attack, a report by the Financial Express said. "Now, we are looking at a serious deficiency in their leadership which should give us more opportunities", he said.

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