SRINAGAR: A top terrorist of Pakistani origin belonging to the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), who was responsible for killing Army Major Satish Dhayia, was among two terrorists killed by the security forces in an encounter in north Kashmir's Sopore town on Wednesday.
According to the police, the two terrorists were identified as Abu Maaz of LeT and Abdul Majeed alias 'Sameer'.
Abu Maaz, who was active in the region since 2015, was involved in a series of attacks on security forces and killings of civilians.
He was active in North Kashmir, particularly Sopore and Handwara.
While the other terrorist - Abdul Majeed - hailed from Bomai in apple town of Sopore, the police said.
With these deaths, the number of terrorists killed in the past 12 days in Kashmir has gone up to 18, the officials said.
The security forces had launched a joint search operation on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday after receiving a credible intelligence input about the presence of terrorists in the Nowpora area of Tujjer in Sopore.
It was a joint operation by para-military forces and the army.
During the searches, terrorists hiding in the area fired upon the search party, which retaliated leading to an encounter. ''In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were eliminated," a J&K Police spokesman said.
"On the basis of materials recovered, one of the slain terrorists has been identified as Abu Maaz of Pakistani origin who had been operating as the top commander of LeT in north Kashmir," the spokesman said.
Maaz had masterminded an attack on an Army convoy in Handwara in February last year, in which 31-year-old Major Satish Dhaiya was killed.
Three terrorists - Abu Saad, Abu Maviya and Abu Darda - were killed in that encounter, but Abu Maaz had managed to escape after gunning down the Army Major.
Since then, he was among the most wanted terrorists in North Kashmir.
With these two deaths, the number of terrorists killed in the past 12 days in Kashmir has gone up to 18.
Five terrorists each were killed in Kulgam district of South Kashmir and Bandipore in North Kashmir during this period.
Another five terrorist were gunned down in Tangdhar of North Kashmir and one was killed at Tral in Awantipura of South Kashmir.
(With PTI Inputs)