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Indian police: Mastermind behind deadly 2019 Kashmir attack killed in shootout

FILE PHOTO - Indian soldiers examine the debris after an explosion in Lethpora in south Kashmir's Pulwama district February 14, 2019. REUTERS-Younis Khaliq-File Photo

The mastermind behind a 2019 attack that killed 40 Indian paramilitary troops has been killed in a shootout with security forces, Indian police in Kashmir said on Saturday.

Mohammad Ismail Alvi, the commander of militant organization Jaish-e-Mohammad was killed south of the regional capital Srinagar, Vijay Kumar, the police chief of Kashmir told Reuters.

“Mohammad Ismail Alvi alias Lamboo alias Adnan was from the family of Masood Azhar. He was involved in conspiracy and planning of Lethpora Pulwama attack,” Kumar said.

A suicide bomber rammed a car into a bus carrying Indian paramilitary police in Kashmir on February 14, 2019, killing 40 of them in the deadliest attack in decades on security forces in the disputed region, raising tensions with arch foe Pakistan.

The Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Indian government accused Pakistan of letting militant groups operate from its soil and called on it to take action. Islamabad said it rejected the suggestion it was linked to the attack.

Kashmir is a Muslim-majority region at the heart of decades of hostility between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan. The neighbours both rule parts of the region while claiming the entire territory as theirs.

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