Security officials on Thursday killed militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba commander’s Abu Ismail, who is believed to have planned the attack in Amarnath, said Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police SP Vaid. Forces also gunned down another militant, identified as Abu Kasim, during the encounter in Nowgam sector of Anantnag district on Thursday.

Vaid, in a press conference, said the police had been tracking Ismail ever since the Amarnath Yatra attack, and that he was also involved in several other attacks, reported ANI. However, the Jammu and Kashmir DGP did not specify which attacks he was speaking of.

Jammu and Kashmir Inspector General of Police Muneer Khan congratulated the security forces for killing Ismail. “It hardly took half an hour to complete the operation. He was one of our prime targets,” Khan said. He added that two AK-47 rifles were recovered from the militants. “The operation was important because we are now expecting a vacuum in the top leadership of the Lashkar-e-Taiba,” General Officer Commanding (Victor Force) BS Raju said.

“This is a huge achievement,” Central Reserve Police Force Director General Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar said. “He was responsible for the attack on the Amarnath Yatra.”

The Amarnath attack had left eight people dead and injured at least 18 on July 10. Authorities have suspended internet services in the region after Ismail’s death.

On August 6, the Jammu and Kashmir Police had said that the Lashkar-e-Taiba was responsible for the attack. The four attackers involved in the strike were identified as Ismail alias Haroon, Maaviya, Furqan and Yawar Bashir alias Ayan, Jammu and Kashmir Inspector General of Police Munir Khan had said. “Ismail, a Pakistani militant belonging to the LeT, along with two other Pakistani militants, and a local Kashmiri militant from the LeT carried out the attack,” Khan had said.