In a major breakthrough, security forces on Tuesday shot dead a self-styled Chief Commander of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit in an encounter in Kupwara district of north Kashmir.
"Qari Yasir, the top-most Jaish commander, was gunned down by police with the assistance of the army at village Garewad in Lolab area of Kupwara," a police spokesman said.
On a tip off about the presence of the militant in the village a search operation was launched, he said.
The militant was confronted by the search parties in the wee hours and asked to surrender, the spokesman said, adding the ultra opened fire and in the ensuing gunfight got killed.
Yasir, a resident of Nooristan in Swat valley of Pakistan, was active in the Valley since 2005 and took over as the Chief Commander of the outfit after the killing of Sajad Afghani, police sources said.
They said he was involved in a large number of militancy-related incidents in the Valley.
With inputs from Mukhtar Ahmad
Image: Security personnel during a gun battle with militants in Kashmir