Top LeT militant killed

Top Lashkar commander Abu Dujana was killed in Pulwama during a joint counter-terror operation carried out by the Jammu - Kashmir police, CRPF and the Army.

The elimination of the Lashkar leader, the mastermind behind the Pampore and Udhampur attacks, is seen as a major counter-terrorism success following a seven-hour gunbattle. Dujana had given the forces the slip several times in the last nine months and was killed after an intelligence tip-off that he was to visit Rukiya, allegedly his wife, in Pulwama.

Hailing from Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the Lashkar commander was wanted for several big terrorist attacks in Kashmir, including the assassination of a PDP district president and bank heists. Dujana was tracked to a two-storey residential complex in Hakripora.

Dujana's replacement is Abu Ismail, who used to be a fierce rival. Ismail had masterminded last month's Amarnath yatra attack in which eight pilgrims were killed.

Dujana's routine of meeting his wife, and sometimes other women, was known to security forces.

While the area was cordoned off at around 4.45 am, the first shots were exchanged only a little after 8 am. Long before the encounter got over, heavy stone-pelting targeted troops but the terrorist could not escape. The operation also involved J-K police's special operations group.

As the charred bodies were being taken out, stone-pelters were seen heckling the jawans. The troops fired teargas shells, pellets and a few live rounds to disperse the protesters. Firdous Khan, a civilian, was killed after a bullet hit his abdomen in an exchange fire between the troops and the stonepelters. Not much support was seen for Dujana and a handful of men from Kulgam arrived on Tuesday evening to claim his body, which was rejected by police.

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