Srinagar: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant Abu Musaib, who was killed in an encounter in north Kashmir on Thursday, is reportedly the nephew of 26/11 Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi.
“Our sources suggest slain Musaib is the nephew of Lakhvi. However, the security agencies until now have not intercepted any communication to confirm it,” Director General of Police S.P. Vaid said.
In his thirties, Musaib, who had been the LeT’s divisional commander in Bandipora district since 2015, was killed in an encounter with the police and the Army’s 13 Rashtriya Rifles unit at Para Mohallah in the district’s Hajin area.
One militant is believed to have escaped. A policeman from the Special Operation Group was also injured and is now undergoing treatment at the Army hospital here.
Sources said Musaib was in the security agencies’ radar ever since he snatched the weapon of a soldier from 14 Rashtriya Rifles in Bandipora in October 2015.
In 2016, he reportedly killed two Army personnel in Hajin and played “an active role” in organising the fidayeen (suicide) attack at Srinagar’s Nowhatta area on August 15, 2016.
The LeT commander, sources said, had succeeded in galvanising support for militancy in the Sumbal-Sonamarg axis in north Kashmir. In December, security agencies alerted National Security Adviser Ajit Doval about growing militancy in Ganderbal, Sumbal and Kangan, and called for increased area domination by the security forces.
According to the Pakistani media, Lakhvi’s two sons, Abu Qatal and Abu Qasim, were killed in Bandipora in 2003 and 2005 respectively.