J&K: Dreaded Terrorist Abu Kasim Killed in Encounter

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Srinagar: Scoring a major success against terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) security forces on Thursday gunned down Abu Kasim, the outfits top commander and mastermind of Udhampur terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Wednesday night.

The Indian Army along with J&K Police and para-military forces launched a joint operation last night after getting specific information of Qasim’s whereabouts. The self-styled LeT commander was behind several terror strikes in the Kashmir Valley in the past three years.

The security officials launched an operation at 2 AM after getting intelligence inputs that Qasim and his aides are holed up in a house at Khandipura village in Kulgam.

A joint team of forces was rushed in and the village was cordoned off. Qasim was killed when he and his accomplices tried to break cordon laid by security forces.

Confirming Qasim’s death, Inspector General of Police Kashmir SJM Gillani said, “We have neutralised a top Lashkar commander Abu Qasim during an operation in Khandaypora in Kulgam district in the wee hours today. It is a major success as Qasim was directly or indirectly involved in all major LeT attacks in Kashmir over the past three years.”

Gillani said after the death of Qasim the operational capacity of LeT has been dented to a “large extent” and congratulated security force personal who took part in the gunfight.

Qasim, who carried a cash reward of Rs 10 lakhs, was a key person of the Pakistan-based terror outfit LeT. He was responsible for providing logistics to terrorists operating in Jammu and Kashmir.

The LeT commander was the mastermind of an attack on a Border Security Force bus on August 05, 2015 in Udhampur, in which two BSF personnel were killed and 11 others injured.

Qasim and militant Abu Okasha were handlers of Pakistani terrorist Naved Yakub caught in Udhampur operation. The truck in which Mohammed Naved and Abu Noman were transported to Narsoo nalla was arranged by Qasim.

He (Qasim) was involved in killing of a top counter-insurgency cop, Muhammad Altaf Dar earlier this month.

The National Investigating Agency (NIA) in August had released a picture of Qasim and announced a cash reward of Rs 10 lakhs for any information on him.

Qasim, around 28 years old, was a resident of Bahawalpur in Pakistan.

He was on the radar of security agencies for a while now. He was behind the attack on an Army convoy in 2013 in Srinagar in which eight Army personnel got killed.

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