Indian forces shot dead on Saturday a wanted Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist, who is believed to have been a key conspirator in a suicide attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in southern Kashmir's Pulwama in 2019, officials said.
Abu Saifullah, or Lamboo or Mohd Ismail Alvi, was among 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.
An encounter broke out after terrorists fired at the search party, a police official told news agency PTI.
Kashmir Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar confirmed Lamboo's death in the gunfight.
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
He said Lamboo was involved in the conspiracy and planning of the chilling February 14 bombing of a CRPF convoy that killed 40 troopers. Lamboo stayed with Adil Dar, the suicide bomber, "till the day of the fidayeen attack", the officer told reporters.
Lamboo, also known as Adnan, 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 was a relative of Jaish founder Masood Azhar. He infiltrated India in 2017.
He was suspected of being one of the masterminds of the Pulwama strike, 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 Lamboo 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 Lamboo was not among those dead back then.
Security forces have stepped up operations in the Valley, killing over 80 terrorists this year. Lamboo's death would be viewed as a big success for security forces on the ground.