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Pulwama terror attack car owner killed

Sajjad Ahmad Bhat among two Jaish-e-Mohammad militants and a soldier killed during an encounter in Anantnag district

ET Bureau|
Jun 18, 2019, 11.28 PM IST
Locals gather outside a house damaged due to an encounter between militants and army personnel in Anantnag on Tuesday.
SRINAGAR | NEW DELHI: A key suspect in the February 14 Pulwama terror strike was among two Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants killed during an encounter on Tuesday in the Anantnag district of southern Kashmir. An army trooper, who was injured during the gunfight, succumbed to injuries later, police said.

Sajjad Ahmad Bhat and the other militant were killed at the Marhama area of Anantnag, when armed forces launched a joint operation, after an intelligence input on the presence of terrorists. The soldier who died was among three army men who were injured during the encounter.Bhat’s car was used in the February 14 attack on the CRPF convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu highway. The Maruti Eeco car was first sold in 2011 and was then resold several times before Bhat purchased it on February 4, just 10 days before the attack.

The 22-year-old was associated with terror groups in the Valley for the past two years and was in contact with the suicide bomber in the Pulwama attack, Adil Ahmed Dar.

In February, the National Investigation Agency, probing the Pulwama attack, claimed that the Maruti Echo van belonged Bhat, a resident of Marhama of Anantnag in southern Kashmir. Bhat, who had gone missing after the attack, had joined the JeM, which carried out the attack. His code name was ‘Afzal Guru’ and had joined JeM’s fedayeen squad formed after the hanging of Guru in 2013 to avenge his death.

After the Pulwama attack, a photograph of Bhat had appeared on social media where he was seen holding weapons.

The vehicle used for the blast was identified with the support of forensic and automobile experts. According to the agency, the vehicle was sold toMohammed Jaleel Ahmed Haqani, a resident of Heaven colony in Anantnag, in 2011.

It changed hands seven times and before reaching Bhat, it said.

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