- Security forces shot dead 4 militants, including Maulana Masood Azhar's top aide
- The close aide of Azhar, Mufti Yasir, was the operational commander of JeM
- In 1999, Indian Airlines flight 814 was hijacked and flown to Afghanistan in order to release him from India's clutches
- Azhar is said to be involved in various terrorist attacks, like the one on Parliament in December 2001and the terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force Station in 2016
In what seems to be yet another achievement for security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, 4 militants, including the top aide of Maulana Masood Azhar, the founder of terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), was shot dead in an encounter in Awantipora district.
The JeM, which has maintained close relations with Taliban and Al-Qaeda, has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and several other countries. As JeM is one of the most notorious militant outfits in J&K, security forces have been regularly vying hard to neutralize the militants of the banned outfit.
The close aide of Azhar, Mufti Yasir, held an eminent post in the outfit. "Operational commander of JeM Mufti Yasir was among those killed in the joint operation in upper reaches of Tral," IANS quoted state director general of police (DGP) SP Vaid as saying.
However, the security forces suffered collateral damages and one soldier and a state police constable were killed in the over 8-hour long gunfight.
After the militants were killed, Vaid took to Twitter to share a picture of the slain militant alongside Masood Azhar.
The picture was taken in Pakistan a few years ago.
Who is Azhar?
Azhar was arrested in February 1994. His imprisonment had led to the abduction of 6 foreign tourists in J&K in 1995. The kidnappers had demanded the release of Azhar in exchange for the tourists.
In 1999, Indian Airlines flight 814 was hijacked by terrorists, led by Masood Azhar's brother Ibrahim Athar, and flown to Afghanistan. The militants released 158 passengers in exchange for Azhar and 2 militant commanders named Sheikh Omar and Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar. The release of Azhar was supervised by SP Vaid.
Since his release, Azhar is said to be involved in various terrorist attacks, including the attack on the Parliament in December 2001, 2008 Mumbai attacks and the terror attack on the Pathankot Air Force Station in 2016.