Top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander and the mastermind of 5 August Udhampur attack Abu Qasim was killed in an encounter with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district early on Thursday morning.

"Abu Qasim, the operational commander of the LeT, was killed during the night in an ambush by the security forces in Khandaypora village of Kulgam district... Abu Qasim fell into the ambush along with an accomplice. Abu Qasim was killed in the first contact (exchange of gunfire)," a police officer told IANS.

The encounter took place when a patrol party of the security forces were carrying out search operation in a forest in Khandaypora after receiving specific information about the movements of the LeT commander.

Qasim was in the area since Tuesday and the security forces had carried out several search operation to nab the LeT chief, according to reports.

He had managed to escape on Tuesday as well as Wednesday afternoon. One soldier was martyred in the encounter that took place on Wednesday afternoon. He was admitted to hospital with bullet injuries, but later died, The Hindu reported.

Qasim is believed to be the mastermind of the Udhampur attack, in which two Border Security Force (BSF) jawans were killed and several others injured.

Two Lashkar militants had attacked a BSF convoy on 5 August. While one of the terrorists was killed in the encounter, another, Naveed, apprehended by villagers and handed over to police after he escaped from the site of attack. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is investigating the case. Naveed and two local accomplices are lodged in a jail in Jammu, IANS reported.

He was also allegedly involved in an attack on an army vehicle, in which eight soldiers were reportedly killed. The incident took place in Hyderpora in Srinagar in 2013.

Qasim is said to be behind many other major attacks in the valley since 2012, when a group of Lashkar terrorists attacked a BSF convoy outside Silver Star hotel near Lasjan on Parimpora- Panthachowk bypass road in Srinagar.