A top Pakistani terrorist commander of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and a relative of JeM chief Masood Azhar was one of the terrorists killed in an early morning encounter between militants and security forces in South Kashmir's Pulwama district, officials said on Saturday, 31 July.
"Top most Pakistani terrorist affiliated with proscribed terror outfit JeM, Lamboo, killed in today's encounter. Identification of second terrorist being ascertained (sic)," police tweeted.
Police said Mohd Saifullah, alias Lamboo, was a family member of Masood Azhar and was involved in conspiring in the February 2019 Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. He was also known as Adnan and Ismail.
Officials told CNN-News18 that Saifullah was the operational commander of Jaish in south Kashmir. He was allegedly an expert in encrypted messaging applications, expert in IED-making and was mostly operating from Awantipora, the report said.
"He was involved in conspiracy and planning of Lethpora Pulwama attack and figured in charge sheet produced by NIA," police said.
The gunfight at Nagberan-Tarsar forest area took place after a joint team of the police and the Army cordoned off the area and launched a search operation on the basis of a tip-off.
As the security forces zeroed in on the spot where terrorists were hiding, they came under a heavy fire that triggered the encounter.
IG Kashmir Vijay Kumar congratulated the army and the police for the successful anti-terror operation.
"The importance of killing Saifullah alias Lamboo is two-fold. It brings closure to February 2019 Pulwama incident. He was one of the masterminds for having trained a local, Adil, who blew himself up in an IED attack," General Officer Commanding of Chinar Corps, Lieutenant General DP Pandey, told news agency ANI.
Pandey further added that Lamboo continued with his operations even after the Pulwama attack.
"Ever since he had been responsible to train people in making IEDs and deploying IEDs against security forces. He has also been responsible to recruit young locals by brainwashing them, carrying out selective identification, and radicalising them and giving them weapons," he said.
Greater Kashmir quoted a police spokesperson as saying that Lamboo was among two militants killed during an encounter in Namibian and Marsar general area of Dachigam forest.