It hardly took half an hour to complete operation.
Ismail, a 24-year-old Pakistani national, infiltrated into India about two years ago and had been operating in south Kashmir. This information was used to trap the LeT militant. They further claimed that as they moved in a particular quarter of the village, the militants opened fire at them and that in the ensuing "brief gun battle" Abu Ismail and his associate were killed.
Khan termed the encounter as "wonderful and crisp" stating that the forces were successful because of the prayers of people, who wanted justice for those killed in Amarnath attack.
Army sources said the intelligence input for the action was provided by the technical cell of the J&K police, which had been tracking the mobile phone of Ismail's accomplice and were following his movements closely since that morning.
Ismail was the mastermind of the Amarnath Yatra attack that killed eight pilgrims in July. Sharing the details of the operation, he revealed that two AK-47 rifles were recovered from the killed terrorists.
His group included 8 to 9 men comprising local and foreign terrorists.
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'Caught by surprise mainly due to the speed with which the cordon was done, they also started retaliating. However, Hizbul Mujahideen militant commander, Riyaz Naikoo, while appearing at the funeral of one of the militants in South Kashmir area of Tahab in Pulwama had said that "efforts are being made to defame the Kashmir freedom struggle". "None of them, I guess, can be as yet elevated (to rank of commander)".
After his name figured as mastermind of the attack, Ismail was on run but under radar of the security forces, another police official said. "Now, we are looking at a serious deficiency in their leadership which should give us more opportunities", he said. He added, "Militant leadership has to be eliminated because they misguide our children and lure them into this".
Both Ismail and Kasim were from Pakistan, IGP Kashmir, Muneer Khan said. "This is our strategy".
For now, the government forces seem to be walking the talk.
On 11 September, in a heavily militancy infested area of Kulgam, two militants were killed while another one surrendered.
The forces have managed to neutralise seven commanders from that list, leaving only five active on ground. The increase in that number has been relentless. "We can thump our chests and pat our backs as much as we can, but the truth is, there is no end in sight".
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