A joint team of security forces killed top Jaish-e-Mohammed militant commander Umer Khalid in Ladoora area of North Kashmir on Monday.

“JeM commander Khalid was killed in a swift operation at Ladura in Rafiabad area. The search operation continues in the area,” informed the Srinagar-based Army spokesman.

Inspector general of police (Kashmir range) Muneer Khan confirmed his identity.

“The killed militant is Khalid alias Khalid Bhai, the Jaish chief in Kashmir who was behind all the recent fidayeen attacks,’’ said Khan.

Preliminary reports suggest Khalid exchanged fire with security forces after being spotted by a Naka party on Monday morning. A police official said a checkpoint was established after a tip-off about the movement of militants in the area.

In the brief exchange of fire, according to police sources, Khalid was injured and fled from the spot. “He was later neutralized in a residential area,” he added.

Believed to be the brain behind recent Fidayeen attacks carried out by JeM in the south and central Kashmir, Khalid is a Pakistani national and had been operational in the area for last two to three years and was also instrumental in arranging recruits for the terror outfit, police said.

He had recently carried out an attack on a Special Police Officer and his seven-year-old son at Handwara. He was an A++ category top-ranking terrorist and carried a cash reward of nearly Rs 7 lakh.

The killing of Khalid, who sources say was heading all the operations of the JeM in the valley, is another major success for the security forces, who have now gunned down many top militant leaders in the last few months.

-with inputs from The Hindu.


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