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[Representational Image]Reuters

A family in the Anantnag district in south Kashmir said the al Qaeda operative killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan's north Waziristan earlier this year was their son.

Ghulam Ahmad Dar and his family from Nagam Kokernag village identified the al Qaeda operative shown in a video released by "As-Sahab", media arm of al Qaeda branch of Indian sub-continent (AQIS) as their son Muhammad Ashraf Dar.

"Yes, the photograph and video being circulated of a Kashmiri al Qaeda youth is of my brother," Ashraf's elder brother Nazir Ahmad Dar told Greater Kashmir.

After Muhammad Ashraf was killed on 5 January this year in a US drone attack, the terror outfit released a video titled "Jihadi Yadain (memories)", in which he was seen asking his fellow ultras to praise the killed operatives. The video said Ashraf belonged to the Islamabad area of Kashmir.

The Kashmir Police recently showed the video to the family, which confirmed that the man was their son who was 15 years old when he crossed the LoC and entered Pakistan-administered part of Kashmir in 2001 to get arms training as a Hizbul Mujahideen operative.

Ashraf had been in contact with his family after that, but they last heard from him in December 2014.

"The last call we received from him was in December, when he inquired about our well being and again maintained his commitment to achieving martyrdom," said Nazir Ahmad.

He added they constantly tried to persuade Asharf to return home, but he used to say achieving martyrdom in the way of Islam was his only motive and that we should pray for him". 

The police in the area has, however, said there is no official confirmation about the findings. "It is not in the notice of the police that Ashraf or any other AQIS operative was killed in a drone attack. There is no official confirmation to the claim," Greater Kashmir quoted Anantnag Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Abdul Jabbar said.

"Yes, there is resemblance with the local youth in the video, but we do not have enough evidence to confirm that the al Qaeda operative shown in the video is the missing youth from the Anantnag district," a senior police officer told IANS.

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