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Top JeM commander killed in Lethpora shootout: Army


Srinagar, Mar 05: A top Jaish-e-Mohammad militant commander, Mufti Waqas was killed in a brief encounter at Hatiwara area of Lethpora in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Monday evening.
Official sources said that army’s 50 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation in Hatwara, Lethpora.
Army’s Srinagar based defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia told that a gunfight broke out at Hatiwara. A militant was killed during the encounter. The body of the militant was recovered along with an AK-rifle.
“Based on specific intelligence of presence of a militant in the area of Hatiwara, Awantipora, a joint specific operation was launched today by JKP, 50 RR and CRPF,” Kalia said, adding that during the operation, the “mastermind of Sunjawan attack and Lehtpora attack, Jaish-e-Mohammed operational commander Mufti Waqas, Category A++, has been eliminated in a surgical operation”.
“There have been no civilian casualties or collateral damage. This has resulted in a major dent to the designs of JeM as after elimination of their earlier operational commander Noor Mohd Tantrey in the same area in Dec 17, his successor too has been killed,” he said.
The police spokesman too claimed that the slain militant was the “chief architect of attacks on the forces including but not limited to DPL Pulwama on 26th August 2017, Lethpora CRPF camp on 1st January 2018 and Sunjwan Army camp on 10thFebruary 2018”.
“From his possession one weapon, war like stores and other incriminating material was recovered. In this regard, Case FIR No. 34/2018 under section 307 RPC, 7/27 Arms Act has been registered in the police Station Awantipora and investigation has been taken up,” the police spokesman said.