Lashkar Men Behind Army Convoy Attack Identified

Lashkar Men Behind Army Convoy Attack Identified

8 July 2013
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Majid Jahangir

Srinagar: The J&K police today pasted posters in Srinagar of three Lashkar-e-Toiba men who they suspect are behind the recent attack on an Army convoy on the outskirts of the city which left eight soldiers dead. Those identified by the police include LeT commander Mohammad Qasim, a Pakistani national, who has been active in south Kashmir since the last three years and has been also operating on the bypass stretch of the Srinagar-Jammu of highway. “We have identified three militants - Qasim and two local militants - who are behind the recent attack. We have also announced cash rewards for those providing information about them,” said a police officer, adding that the posters would also be pasted in other parts of the Kashmir valley. The police said Qasim was also allegedly involved in attacking a security patrol near the Silver Star hotel on the bypass road last year. Eight soldiers were killed and 16 injured when militants ambushed an Army convoy near Hyderpora on the outskirts of Srinagar on June 24, a day ahead of the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi. The Hizbul Mujahideen had claimed responsibility for the attack, but police investigations have found that the LeT was behind the ambush. Deputy Inspector General of Police, central Kashmir, Ahfad-ul-Mujtaba, said the posters of the three militants had been pasted in city as they were active in the area where the attack on the Army convoy had taken place. “These three militants have been operating in this area and that is why we have circulated their pictures,” Mujtaba told The Tribune. Meanwhile, preliminary investigations by the Army into the June 24 attack has pointed a finger at laxity in security arrangements. “There has definitely been a security lapse on the part of the security agency that was supposed to secure the road for the movement of security vehicles. Also, the two highway patrols of the Army that were deployed in the area for the convoy movement failed to reach the spot immediately after the attack,” said a source. The Army had ordered a probe to look into the Hyderpora firing incident to find out whether the Standard Operating Procedure was followed by various security agencies during the movement of the Army convoy.