Top Jaish bombmaker killed, hunt for 2 missing car bombs in Kashmir is on

Fauji Bhai alias Abdul Rehman, a top bomb-maker Jaish-e-Mohammed, was among the three terrorists killed in an encounter with security forces in Kashmir’s Pulwama on Wednesday morning.

The operation was conducted by a joint team of security personnel that had been tracking Fauji Bhai, also known as Ismail, who has also been linked to the car bomb intercepted in Pulwama district’s Rajpora area on May 27.

Inputs available with security forces, however, indicate that there are two more similar car bombs, or vehicle improvised explosive devices (V-IEDs), in Kashmir, that Fauji Bhai, a Pakistani national, had built.

“Our information was that Fauji Bhai, also known as Ismail, had fabricated three vehicle IEDs. We seized one of the three on May 27 but there are two more out there, possibly somewhere in Budgam and Kulgam areas,” a top counter-terror official told Hindustan Times.

There had been a barrage of intelligence inputs over the last two months about plans by Jaish terrorists to carry out major strikes targeting security forces.

The Santro car packed with explosives that was seized by security forces on May 27 was the first of these planned attacks. It was intercepted when it was being taken to a Jaish terrorist Sameer Ahmed Dar of Kakpora, Pulwama by an overground worker.

Sameer Ahmed Dar is a relative of Adil Dar, the suicide bomber who drove his Maruti Echo vehicle into a CRPF convoy on 14 February 2019 killing 40 troopers. This terror attack was followed by an Indian launching air strike on a terror facility in Pakistan’s Balakot, and a subsequent dogfight between the air forces of the two neighbouring countries.

This time, Sameer Ahmed Dar had offered to drive the vehicle IED into a security camp.

Intelligence reports indicate that one of the likely targets of the car bomb was the 44 Rashtriya Rifles camp at Shadimarg, Rajpora, Pulwama.

Vijay Kumar, Inspector General Police of Kashmir Range described Fauji Bhai’s elimination in Wednesday’s encounter as a huge success for the security forces, next only to the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen’s Riyaz Naikoo in Kashmir’s Beighpora area of Awantipora last month.

Kumar said it could not be verified that he is related to JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar.

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