13 senior militant commanders killed/arrested since Jan 2013

Srinagar, October 12: Thirteen top militant commanders have been eliminated by the security forces working in the valley since 2013. Out of these, eleven were killed in various encounters and two were arrested in counter-insurgency operations.

According to data compiled by a local daily, the two arrested militants were identified as Fahadullah of the Lashkar-e-Toiba and Talib Lali of the Hizbul Mujahideen. Both were arrested in April 2013 and September 2013 respectively. The information collected through these arrests helped security agencies a lot in denting outfit’s network in the region.

Out of the 11 militants killed in the last two years, three were the senior commanders of terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, while four belonged to the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the other three were Jaish-e-Mohammad commanders.

The Hizbul Mujahideen commanders killed since January 2013 were identified as Shabir Bhat of Tral and Qari Assadullah of Pakistan, Adil Mir of Tral and Mohammad Shafi Sheikh of Sopore. While Lashkar-e-Toiba commanders killed since January 2013 are Abu Ukasha Afghani, Bilal Ahmad Bhat of Pulwama and Irshad Ahmad Ganai.

The three senior commanders of outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad which is on the verge of extinction in the region died in separate counter insurgency operations. These were identified as Qari Yasir of Pakistan, Altaf Baba of Pulwama and Adeel Pathan, killed earlier this week.

Also, deputy commander of Lashkar-e-Islam Tariq Mir drowned in the stream in August this year while running from police.

The killed senior commanders were either replaced by the ones’ from existing militant cadres or they were infiltrated from across the borders. There are nearly 150 militants, mostly locals, operating in the region and 80 of them active in south Kashmir districts.

The group Hizbul Mujahideen has emerged as one of the strongest terror outfits in the valley with unusually high number of youths joining in recent months. The group is led by a young militant, Burhan Wani, who became the commander after his cousin Adil Mir was killed in 2014.

The surviving commander of LeT in valley is Abu Qasim. This militant is responsible for several high-profile strikes in recent years and is one of the most wanted militants in the region along with Burhan Wani.

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