Top al-Badr terrorist held in Sopore

Top al-Badr terrorist held in Sopore

Munir Bukhari was a conduit between two terrorist outfits

The Jammu and Kashmir Police achieved a major breakthrough by arresting a top commander of al-Badr, a militant outfit in Sopore, the violence infested town of north Kashmir.

Police sources said that Munir Ahmad Bukhari alias Sajad Baloch alias Hamza alias Amir Ghazi was arrested during a search operation at Nowhamam in Sopore, 52 km from Srinagar.

“Bukhari was a self-styled divisional commander of Al-Badr in north Kashmir,” they added.

Sopore Superintendent of Police Imtiyaz Hussain confirmed the arrest. “The terrorist was operating under the direct command of Pakistan-based Al-Badr ‘chief commander’ Yousuf Baloch,” Hussain told Deccan Herald.

He said Bukhari was in constant touch with Yousuf on a satellite phone. “The Hizb-ul-Mujahideen terrorists in north Kashmir were carrying their operations in the name of Al-Badr and Bukhari was working as a bridge between the two terrorist outfits,” he added.

The SP said police were questioning the arrested commander and hinted at more raids were in the coming days.

Bukhari was wanted in several violent incidents, including the 2010 grenade attacks on army’s 22 Rashtriya Rifles headquarter in Sopore and the attack on the local police station.

Police sources said 10 militants, who were killed by police and army in Handwara forests of north Kashmir in March and April this year, had direct link with Bukhari.

“We recovered some vital documents from the slain militants and on the basis of that input Bukhari was arrested,” they added. Police have recovered an AK series rifle, a satellite phone and ammunition from his possession.

Militants on backfoot

He has been booked in FIR No 72/2012 in Tarzu police station, Sopore.“Sopore is a tough place for security forces since it is close to the border area of Kupwara and, of late, has become a transit point for militants to fan out into entire north Kashmir,” said a police officer.

However, he said the killing and arrests of some top commanders in recent past has put the militants on a back foot.

Al-Badr is the only group, other than the Lashkar-e-Toiba, to employ suicide squads.

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