Praveen Swami

NEW DELHI: Abu Huzaifa, the Lashkar-e-Taiba commander who ordered the October 2005 serial bombings in New Delhi, was shot dead on Monday morning in an encounter near the frontier town of Baramulla.

Based on information provided by the Delhi Police, troops of the 2 Rashtriya Rifles and personnel from the Jammu and Kashmir Special Operations Group cordoned off a home, three kilometres from the hamlet of Hanjiverea, in Patan tehsil. Huzaifa was killed along with his bodyguard, Ali Mohammad, after an exchange of fire. Both terrorists are thought to be Pakistani nationals.

Tariq Dar, a Srinagar-based Lashkar operative who is charged with having run the cell which executed the Delhi serial bombings, recently told the court of Delhi Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Madhu Jain that he had held several meetings with Huzaifa in the months before the pre-Diwali terror attacks. Although Dar denied he had any role in the bombings, he admitted to having laundered funds for the Lashkar and carried out media-relations operations on its behalf.

Phone interception

Sources told The Hindu that a Delhi Police detachment stationed at the Rashtriya Rifles' Victor Force headquarters in southern Kashmir had succeeded in tracing Huzaifa through a painstaking telephone-interception operation.

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