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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Lashkar commander behind Srinagar army attack

Peerzada Ashiq , Hindustan Times  Srinagar, July 08, 2013
First Published: 19:41 IST(8/7/2013) | Last Updated: 21:49 IST(8/7/2013)

After groping in dark for two weeks, the security agencies have zeroed in on Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander Muhammad Qasim as the mastermind behind the June-24 attack on the army in Srinagar, which left eight soldiers dead.

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The security agencies have prepared posters of three Lashkar militants. These posters will be pasted in the Valley as a major campaign to nab the elusive commander, Qasim, a foreigner, who fled from an encounter site in August 2012 in south Kashmir's Pir Panchal range.

Police sources said Qasim was behind the army attack in Srinagar. Three-year-old on Kashmir's militancy scene, LeT divisional commander Qasim is emerging as a dreaded commander who spearheaded three major operations in the Valley, including the abortive bid to storm Silver Star hotel in October 2012 on the outskirts in Srinagar and an attack on an army patrol near Pampore in July 2012. He is chiefly operating from south Kashmir.

The police have identified 20 militants active in south Kashmir, which include several local recruits. Eleven local recruits have already been killed this year in south Kashmir.
Meanwhile, a video of the daring attack has gone viral on the social networking sites, where two youth in civvies can be seen coming close to an army truck and firing indiscriminately on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway. The video has been dubbed with Quranic verses like videos of Taliban attacks in Afghanistan.

However, the security agencies have not confirmed the veracity of the video.

The militants killed eight army personnel in a surprise attack on June 24, just a day ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the Valley.

The militants after attacking the army vehicles fled the scene on a motorbike and attacked a CRPF post same day, just a km away.

While Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the attack, the police see the LeT hand.


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