Two Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants, including one of the masterminds of the 2019 Pulwama attack and an expert in making improvised explosive devices (IEDs), were killed during an encounter in the upper reaches of the Dachigam National Park in the Kashmir Valley on Saturday.
“The two slain JeM terrorists are Mohammad Ismal Alvi, alias Lamboo from JeM chief Azhar Masood’s family and Sameer Dar, a local from Pulwama. Lamboo was highly trained, especially in the making of IEDs. He was also instrumental in planning and executing the February 2019 Pulwama suicide attack,” Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar told The Hindu . Forty CRPF jawans died in the attack.
Both the militants were encircled and engaged in a gunfight after a specific input was generated by the police and a joint search operation was launched in the forest area of Namibian and Marsar, part of the Dachigam National Park, a forest range straddling Srinagar and Pulwama.
“Lamboo also stayed with JeM’s Adil Dar, who carried out the Pulwama attack in 2019,” IGP Kumar said.
“He figured in the last video of Dar that went viral,” he added.
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The police said Lamboo visited several training camps of the JeM in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“Out of 19 accused terrorists and supporters involved in the Pulwama attack , seven, including Adil Dar , Mudasir Khan , Umar Farooq, Kamran, Qari Yasir,Sajjad Bhat and Lamboo were killed in encounters. Around seven terrorists and over ground workers have been arrested and five are still absconding,” IGP Kumar said.
Lamboo, according to the police, was closely associated with JeM chief Azhar Masood and had infiltrated into this side of Kashmir in the year 2017 through Sakargadh Sector. He was a 'A++' categorized terrorist.
“Lamboo was behind the killing of policeman Fayaz Ahmed, his wife and daughter in Tral, this year,” IGP Kumar said.
The police added that Lamboo was trying to re-establish and strengthen the JeM terror outfit and utilize Awantipora, especially Kakapora and Pampore area of Pulwama, as a hotbed for receiving new terrorist groups and transporting them to the other parts for carrying out terrorist attacks.
The security forces recovered one AK rifle, one M-4 carbine, a Glock pistol and a Chinese Pistol at the encounter site.
Srinagar-based 15 Corps, GoC, D.P. Pandey, termed the killing as “a major success”.
“Lamboo was also involved in recruiting young boys and brainwashing them. He would also give weapons and training to the new recruits,” GoC Pandey said.