LeT commander Abu Ismail, who attacked Amarnath Yatra pilgrims in July killing eight people, was shot dead on Thursday along with another Pakistani militant on the outskirts of Srinagar city, police said.
Following information about the presence of militants in Aarigam village, the security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Nowgam area.
"As the security forces tightened the cordon, the hiding militants opened fire, triggering an encounter," an official said, adding that the two militants, both Pakistani nationals, were killed in the exchange of fire.
One of the killed militants was identified as Abu Ismail, a senior Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander, who planned and carried out the attack on a bus of Amarnath Yatris in Anantnag district on July 10, police said.
Eight pilgrims were killed and 13 injured in the attack.
Reacting to the killing, Director General of Police S.P. Vaid said: "Police had been after Abu Ismail for quite some time and finally we have been able to gun him down."
Speaking to the media separately, Inspector General of Police Munir Ahmad Khan also described the killing of Abu Ismail as a major setback for the terror outfit and a huge success for the security forces.
People across the board had wished that those responsible for the dastardly attack on Amarnath Yatra pilgrims in July that killed eight people should get deserving punishment, Khan said.
Earlier, two overground workers of the Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist outfit were arrested on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district, police said.
Two grenades were recovered from Waheed Ahmad Bhat and Muhammad Shafi Mir, who were arrested from Handwara area.
Overground workers provide logistic support to militants by organising their hideouts and by keeping an eye on the movement of security forces.
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