Al Qaeda
A screen grab of Al Qaeda's video statement on KashmirTwitter

Al-Qaeda affiliated terror outfit Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind (AGH) in Kashmir,  has released a statement mourning the death Zakir Musa's successor Hamid Lelhari aka Ameer Haroon Abbas, who was gunned down in Awantipora encounter on October 22.  According to the statement, Ghazi Khalid Ibrahim is announced as the new interim commander. The group also named Abu Bakr Shopiani and Umar Mansour as deputies.

Hamid Lelhari, a 30-year-old  native of Pulwama, was named the new commander of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGH) after Zakir Musa's death on May 23, 2019. After the Awantipora encounter during which three terrorists were killed including Lelhari, Jammu and Kashmir DGP Dilbag Singh addressed a press conference in Srinagar, saying that Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind group had been completely "wiped out." 

AGH statement
Image: Twitter

Awantipora Encounter

On October 22, three terrorists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Awantipora. Jammu and Kashmir Police have identified the terrorists — Naveed Tak, Hamid Lone aka Hamid Lelhari and Junaid Bhat. Arms and ammunition have been recovered from the site of the incident.

Taking to Twitter, the Kashmir Zone Police said, "#Awantipora #encounter update: 03 #killed #terrorists identified as Naveed Tak, Hamid Lone @ Hamid Lelhari and Junaid Bhat involved in several #terrorcrimes. #Arms & ammunition recovered. Case registered. @JmuKmrPolice"

J&K Police Tweet
Image: Twitter

In Tral, 3 local militants associated Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind were killed. Before that, in an operation in Anantnag, 3 militants were neutralised. The J&K DGP added that the AGH terrorists were in sync with other terror organisations like Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen. He also said that terrorism can only be curbed if the local youth of Kashmir do not take the path of militancy and choose the path of peace. 

Who was Zakir Musa

Zakir Musa
Zakir MusaIANS

Zakir Musa was the top militant commander in the Kashmir Valley. He headed the Al Qaeda affiliate AGH who was killed by the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district. Zakir Musa was also a close associate of Burhan Wani who was gunned down by the forces in 2017. Musa succeeded Burhan and later headed the al-Qaida affiliate. Like Burhan Wani, Musa used to express his opinions through social media. Musa had taken to militancy in 2013. The killing of Zakir Musa is seen as a massive success for the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir.