- As many as 18 terrorists have been killed in the Valley since the Pulwama terror attack
- Army today said that the key conspirator of the dastardly attack was among those killed
- There has been a significant dent to the Jaish leadership after the killing of Pulwama attack mastermind, IG Kashmir S P Pani said
Eighteen terrorists, including six from Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Muhammed, have been killed in various counterterror operations since the February 14 Pulwama attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were martyred, the Army said on Monday.
The Army said that security forces have also killed the Pulwama terror attack mastermind - JeM terrorist Mudasir Ahmed Khan - in an encounter at south Kashmir's Tral area.
There has been a significant dent to the JeM after the killing of Mudasir, IG Kashmir S P Pani said at a press conference.
The security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Pinglish after receiving specific intelligence input about the presence of terrorists in the area.
The operation turned into an encounter after the terrorists opened fire at the search party of the forces who retaliated.
Lesser-known JeM terrorist Khan was identified as the brain behind the audacious terror strike in Pulwama on February 14, officials said on Sunday.
Piecing together evidence gathered so far, security officials said that 23-year-old Khan, an electrician with a graduate degree and a resident of Pulwama, arranged the vehicle and explosives used in the terror strike.
A resident of Mir Mohalla of Tral, Khan joined JeM sometime in 2017 as an overground worker and was later drawn into the terror outfit by Noor Mohammed Tantrey, alias 'Noor Trali', who is believed to have helped the terror group's revival in the Valley.
After Tantray was killed in December 2017, Khan disappeared from his home on January 14, 2018 and has been active since then.
Suicide attacker Adil Ahmed Dar, who blew his explosive-laden vehicle next to a bus in a CRPF convoy on February 14, had been in constant contact with Khan, officials said.