JeM leader killed in encounter near Dal Lake

Acting on specific information, police followed a private car moving along the Foreshore road on the banks of Dal lake and intercepted the vehicle, Inspector general of Police Kashmir S M Sahai told reporters.

He said the militants opened fire on the police which retaliated. Afghani and his bodyguard were killed in the ensuing brief encounter.

Two policemen were injured in the encounter while a woman in nearby Habbak area was injured by a stray bullet, he said.

Sahai said the killing of Afghani was a "big success" for the security forces as he was trying to establish a base in Srinagar city for launching attacks on security personnel and their installations during the coming summer months.

"Afghani was the topmost commander of JeM in Jammu and Kashmir and was active for the last eight years. His bodyguard has been identified as Bilal and they were both Pakistanis," he said.

The slain militants had carried out a recce of Lal Chowk area of the city earlier in the day and might have been planning to launch attacks in near future, the officer said.

The IGP said Afghani was the mastermind of several strikes on security forces including the attack on CRPF jawans in June last year, attack on residence of Superintendent of Police Sopore and killing of two cops in Pattan area of Baramulla district.

Afghani had also planned the Qammarwari attack which was neutralised by the police killing the three motorcycle borne militants in November last year.

Sahai said the militant commander was active in north Kashmir's Sopore town and surrounding area for most part of his stay in the Valley.

Police recovered an AK rifle, two pistols, seven magazines, two hand grenades, one Under Barrel Grenade Launcher and its eight grenades, one Radio Set and two pouches.
This was the first encounter in the city this year.

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