Chief Of Al Umar Terror Group Killed In J&K
6 February 2004
The Indian Express
New Delhi: Security forces shot dead the chief operational commander of Al Umar Mujahideen Rafiq Ahmad Lidri, wanted in several killings of police officers and political activists, in an encounter in Khanyar locality, a senior police official said on Friday. The forces surrounded a house in the downtown area on Thursday night following a tip off that Lidri was hiding there, senior superintendent of police Syed Javed Mujtaba Gilani said. Gilani said that the security forces barged into the house to arrest Lidri in the wee hours on Friday but came under fire. Security forces retaliated and killed the militant on the spot, he added. The official said the slain commander, a close lieutenant of Al Umar Chief Mushtaq Ahmad Zargar alias Latram, was involved in several killings of policemen and political activists. Zargar, along with Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Maulana Masoodazhar, was released in December 1999 at Kandahar, Afghanistan, in exchange of passengers of hijacked Indian Airlines flight IC-814. 'This is one of the major successes for the security forces as we were after Lidri for the past three years. He was one the few local militant commanders left in Srinagar and now Al Umar has no commanders in Srinagar', he added. One AK rifle, wireless set and several grenades were recovered from Lidri's possession.