LeT commander Ayub Lelhari killed in Pulwama shootout

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 16, 2017

Notching another major success, security forces killed top LeT commander Ayub Lelhari on Wednesday in a gunfight in Pulwama district, days after Hizbul Mujahideen's top commander Yasin Itoo was killed in a gunfight in Shopian. Police has recovered one AK-47 from the encounter site. SSP Pulwama, Chowdhary Aslam, added that a policeman was injured in the clash.

J&K DGP SP Vaid said, "He (Ayub Lelhari) was one of the most wanted terrorists".

Muhammad Ayub Lone alias Ayub Lalhari was reportedly travelling in a Tavera vehicle when the security forces intercepted it outside Banderpora village of Pulwama's Koil area, leading to a brief exchange of fire.

Lelhari had been active in south Kashmir areas and had recently been designated as district commander by the LeT outfit.

Lone was a resident of Lalhar, a village in Pulwama. A stone-pelting mob however gave him cover to escape but LeT's another top terrorist Abu Dujana was killed in that encounter.

"In the making of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, they played a key role and became first martyrs of this jihad movement", Musa said in an audio message which went viral on social media platforms earlier this month.

"When the vehicle in which Ayub Lalhari was travelling was signalled to stop, it tried to jump the check post, after which the LeT commander started firing at the security forces", the police said.

The LeT commander's killing comes almost three days after a joint team of Indian Army and J&K Police eliminated three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists in the neighbouring district of Shopian.

Since July 30, security forces have killed 23 militants in various gun battles, including five infiltrators who were gunned down along the LoC, by the army in Machil sector on August 7.

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