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Posted at: Oct 24, 2019, 7:19 AM; last updated: Oct 24, 2019, 8:46 AM (IST)

Al-Qaida affiliate wiped out: DGP

Majid Jahangir

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, October 23

Security forces have claimed a major success in the fight against militancy on Wednesday by gunning down operational chief of the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, Hameed Lone, alias Hameed Lelhari. The group was an affiliate of the Al-Qaida. Lone, who succeeded Zakir Musa, was killed in a gunfight along with his  associates Naveed Ahmed Tak and Junaid Rashid Bhat at Rajpora Awantipora on Tuesday evening. 

 Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said the group had been “wiped out”. Initially, the police had suspected the three were associated with Jaish-e-Mohammad. “There was some confusion, but later it was found that all three were locals and associated with the Ansar,” the DGP said.

Hameed Lelhari, a resident of Lelhar, Kakapora, had taken command of the group after Musa’s death . “Lelhari motivated Naveed and Junaid to join the Ansar,”  Singh said at a press conference in Srinagar. “For now, the group has been wiped out. But these groups have always an over-ground network and some are prone to joining militancy.”

Musa was killed in a gunfight in south Kashmir’s Awantipora sub-district on May 24. This year, police records show, at least nine militants of the radical group have been killed in gunfights.

While Lelhari had joined militancy in May 2016, Junaid had joined in July 2018 and Naveed in July this year. Junaid’s brother, also a militant, was killed in a gunfight in 2017.

“We feel sorry that two of them, who belonged to the same family, went on the wrong path,” the Director General of Police said, adding that Lelhari was involved in series of attacks on security forces and civilians in Awantipora and Pulwama. Interestingly, 

the police chief said the Jaish militant group was now in touch with the Ansar and other militant groups to create “more disturbances” in the Valley on the directions of Pakistan.

Musa successor dead

Hameed Lone, who succeeded Zakir Musa, was killed along with Naveed Ahmed Tak and Junaid Rashid Bhat in Awantipora. Musa was killed in this area on May 24.

 

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