In a huge success, the security forces on Wednesday eliminated a dreaded self-styled top commander of the Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist outfit Shamsuddin Sofi in an encounter in the Tral area of South Kashmir.
The killed terrorist was a timber smuggler who later became Over Ground Worker (OGW) of Jaish and then joined the terror outfit as an active terrorist in 2019. According to police, the terrorist was killed in an encounter in Tilwani Mohalla Wagad in Tral. He was a resident of Satura Tral in the Pulwama district.
Sofi (45) was active since 2019 after re-joining JeM terrorist outfit, and was killed after the initial exchange of gunfire with the security forces this afternoon.
"Top JeM Commander Sofi killed in Tral encounter," Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir Vijay Kumar said.
Joint team of police, Army, CRPF conduct operation
Reports said that a joint team of Police, Army, and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in Tral.
As the joint team of forces approached towards the suspected spot, the hiding terrorists fired upon the forces, triggering off a gunfight. With Shamsuddin's killing, a major Jaish asset has been neutralized.
"A top Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist has been gunned down in an ongoing encounter at Awantipora in Jammu and Kashmir. The gunfight between the security forces and terrorist was underway at Tilwani Mohalla in Tral area of Awantipora", police said.
JeM involved in Pulwama, Parliament attacks
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), a Pakistan-based group, has claimed responsibility for the Parliament and Pulwama attacks. The terror outfit is designated a terror organization by India and the UN, as well as the UK and the US. It has been held responsible for attacks in different parts of the country including Kashmir.
Pakistan-based cleric Masood Azhar founded this outfit after he was released by India in 1999. He was one of three terrorists set free in exchange for the crew and passengers of an Indian Airlines plane hijacked and flown to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
JeM was officially banned in Pakistan soon after some attacks but the group still operates, sometimes using the names Afzal Guru Squad, Al-Murabitoon, and Tehreek-al-Furqan.