PTI, SRINAGAR: In a "major success", security forces killed the chief of an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Kashmir, Zakir Rashid Bhat alias Zakir Musa, in an encounter at a village in south Kashmir's Tral on Friday, officials said.
Musa, who heads the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, came to the limelight in Kashmir Valley after he denounced Pakistan, cut ties with the banned Hizbul Mujahideen terror group and vowed allegiance to the Al-Qaeda.
A carrom player, Musa in his teenage represented Jammu and Kashmir at various national championships.
Inspector General of Police Swamyam Prakash Pani said the operation was conducted with utmost precaution and proper care was taken to avoid collateral damage.
"He was one of the oldest militant and wanted for several terror-related crimes," Pani told PTI.
A police spokesman said his killing was a major success as "Musa had a long history of terror crime since 2013".
"He was initially associated with proscribed terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen but later floated Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind (AGuH)," the police spokesman said.
Musa was trapped when police, along with CRPF and Army personnel, cordoned off Dadsara village in Tral in Pulwama district on Thursday evening.