Indian forces shot dead on Saturday two wanted Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists, who are believed to have been key conspirators in a suicide attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in southern Kashmir's Pulwama in 2019, officials said.
Mohammad Ismail Alvi, a relative of Jaish founder Masood Azhar, was among the two terrorists killed in a gun battle in Pulwama, where forces launched a search operation in the forest areas early morning after receiving a tip-off on the presence of terrorists there. The second terrorist was identified as Sameer Dar, a Pulwama resident and an M.Sc dropout.
An encounter broke out after the terrorists fired at the search party, a police official told news agency PTI.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar confirmed the death of Alvi and Dar in an operation that is being seen as a major success for security forces. Over 80 terrorists have been killed this year in the Valley in counterterrorism operations.
Top most #Pakistani #terrorist affiliated with proscribed #terror outfit JeM Lamboo killed in today's #encounter. Identification of second terrorist being ascertained. #Congratulations to Army & @AwantiporPolice: IGP Kashmir@JmuKmrPolice
" Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) July 31, 2021
Kumar said Alvi was involved in the conspiracy and planning of the chilling February 14 bombing of a CRPF convoy that killed 40 troopers. Alvi stayed with Adil Dar, the suicide bomber, "till the day of the fidayeen attack", the officer told reporters.
Kumar also said eight of the 19 accused in the Pulwama case had been killed by security forces. Seven more were behind the bars, while four were on the run.
Alvi, also known as Adnan or Abu Saifullah or Lamboo, was believed to have been the operational commander (alongside Rauf Asgar) of the Jaish in southern Kashmir, an area hit hard by militancy. A resident of Pakistan's Punjab province, he infiltrated into India in 2017.
He was suspected of being one of the masterminds of the Pulwama attack, which prompted Indian airstrikes targeting a Jaish camp deep inside Pakistan. After the Pulwama incident, frosty ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours hit a new low.
Officials believe Alvi had been operating from the Awantipora area. He was believed to have been an expert in encrypted messaging and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). He is accused of fabricating the IED used in the Pulwama bombing.
In January 2020, he was thought to be killed in an encounter, but security forces confirmed later that Alvi was not among those dead back then.
Dar was suspected of tutoring the suicide bomber for a video featuring him that Jaish released minutes after the attack.