The Jammu and Kashmir police on Wednesday claimed to have eliminated the Lashkar-e-tayiba's chief commander in the Valley in a gun battle at village Pehroo in central Budgam district.
"He was involved in the suicide attacks on Srinagar airport and the police control room in Srinagar. This is a serious setback for the Lashkar," K Rajendra, Deputy Inspector General (Srinagar-Budgam range) told rediff.com in Srinagar.
There was no word from the Lashkar till late Wednesday evening about the incident.
Rajendra said Tariq Mehmood alias Salah-ud-din alias Nadeem was killed in 'a chance encounter near village Pehroo on Wednesday afternoon."
Rajendra said a Special Operations Group team of Budgam was attacked by militants on Wednesday afternoon near village Pehroo by assault rifles. SOG personnel returned the fire resulting in Mehmood's death.
He said Tariq had participated in the suicide raids on the heavily guarded Srinagar airport and the state police control room in February but had managed to escape on both occasions.
The DIG said Mehmood was masterminding the fidayeen (suicide attacks) of his outfit in Kashmir.
"We have achieved a major success," said Rajendra. "We recovered one pistol and ammunition from Mehmood."
In another incident, a powerful bomb explosion damaged the window panes of a house belonging to a Special Police Officer at Wampora in Budgam district. However, no one was injured.
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