Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander and the main accused of Amarnath Yatra attack Abu Ismail along with an associate Abu Kasim were killed in a brief gunbattle with security forces in Aarigam area of Nowgam on the outskirts of Srinagar on Thursday, police said.
This is exactly what General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the south Kashmir-based Victor Force, Major General BS Raju, had to say at the presser held after Ismail's killing in Srinagar on Thursday.
Incidentally, while social media was abuzz about Islam's anointment to the senior LeT post, intelligence operatives said there were no independent inputs with them yet to confirm this.
Following the operation, Muneer Khan, IGP Kashmir, congratulated the security forces, adding that the encounter concluded in just half and hour.
"LeT chief commander Abu Ismail along with his accomplice were today killed in brief gunfight here", a police spokesman told Xinhua.
He said besides being mastermind of Amarnath yatra attack, Ismail was involved in many militant attacks on security forces.
Ismail had taken over the command of LeT after the elimination of Abu Dujana on August 1. The other terrorist killed in this encounter was Abu Qasim alias Chotta Qasim.
He said police, army and CRPF had received specific information about movement of Abu Ismail.
The Amarnath attack had left eight people dead and injured at least 18 on July 10.
State Director General of Police SP Vaid said since January 147 terrorists have been killed by the security forces in Kashmir so far. "You can understand the effort which has been put in to execute this operation, a joint operation of police army and CRPF", he said.
Police said that the two militants were involved in the killing of a sarpanch of village Hawoora and weapon snatching incidents and "instigating youth to pelt stones". He was mostly active in Shopian and Kulgam areas of south Kashmir. "Now, we are looking at a serious deficiency in their leadership which should give us more opportunities", he said. "These commanders are important because they recruit youngsters, lure them to militancy, plan violence and create a mess".