2016 Pathankot attack handler killed outside Pakistan mosque

Wednesday 18th October 2023 06:59 EDT

Three unknown assailants shot and killed top Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) terrorist Shahid Latif as he was reciting prayers in a mosque in Sialkot, Pakistan. Latif was the leader of the fidayeen team who attacked the Pathankot airbase in 2016.

Latif, 53, who was on India’s ‘most wanted’ list and also a designated terrorist under UAPA, was shot from point blank range along with his brother at dawn soon after he had offered prayers at the Noor Madina mosque by shooters who had come on a motorbike and mingled with worshippers.

Pakistan called the fatal attack on Latif, mirroring recent killings inside Pakistan of others on India’s ‘wanted’ list, a terrorist act.

Security sources verified that in addition to the attack on the Pathankot airbase, Latif alias Bilal, a senior member of the JeM's jihadi cast, had either authored or participated in the preparation of several terror acts, including the Pulwama attack in 2019 on a CRPF convoy. Even the recent Kokernag confrontation, in which two Army soldiers and a policeman died, had been linked by investigators to his fingerprints.

This renowned jihadi's murder mirrored other terrorist shootings in Pakistan. In the Al-Qudus mosque in Rawalkot, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, unidentified gunmen shot and killed high-ranking Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Riyaz Ahmad, also known as Abu Qasim Kashmiri, last month. Also shot at close range while saying Friday prayers was Kashmiri, who was responsible for the January terror incident in J&K's Rajouri district.

Wanted terrorist and chief of Khalistan Commando Force, Paramjit Singh Panjwar, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen while he was out for a morning walk near his residence in Lahore in May.

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