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Mastermind of Sunjuwan Army Camp Attack, Jaish Commander Mufti Waqas Killed In Kashmir

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
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| March 6 , 2018 , 09:54 IST

Mufti Waqas, the operational commander of militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), considered to be the mastermind of the February 11 Sunjuwan Army Camp Attack in Jammu that killed 6 soldiers was killed on Monday in a joint operation in Awantipora area of South Kashmir.

According to reports, the joint operation of the Army, the CRPF and the Jammu and Kashmir Police was launched after 'specific intelligence' that Waqas was in Awantipora's Hatwar area.

A “joint specific operation was launched and mastermind of the Sunjuwan terrorist attack and Lethpora terrorist attack, Jaish-e-Mohammed operational commander, category A++” was killed “in a surgical operation,” the Army said in a statement.

An Army spokesperson added that Waqas had been alone in the area and that there were no civilian casualties in the operation.

The Jammu and Kashmir Police, in a statement, said that their search party in Hatwar was fired upon, and when they retaliated a militant was killed.

“The fire was retaliated in which a militant was killed, who was later identified as Waqas alias Abu Arsalan, the chief operational commander of Jaish,” it said.

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The killing of Waqas is being hailed as a major success for the security agencies against the Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group led by Pakistan-based Maulana Masood Azhar as Waqas had reportedly emerged as the brains behind the militant group's attacks.

“This has resulted in a major dent to the designs of JeM. After the elimination of their earlier operational commander, Noor Mohammad Tantrey in the same area in December last year, his successor too has been killed,” the Army said.

As per police sources, Waqas was instrumental in organising fidayeen attacks in Lethpora in December 2017, Pulwama in August 2017 as well as the attack on the Border Security Force battalion outside Srinagar airport on October 3, 2017.

The most recent attack on February 11 at the Indian Army Camp in Jammu's Sunjuwan that took place at predawn, resulted in the death of 6 army soldiers, 4 attackers, 1 civilian and injury to 11 others.