The Jammu and Kashmir Police on Tuesday said security forces had killed militant leader Abdul Qayoom Najar in the state’s Uri sector, reported ANI.

Najar, who headed the Hizbul Mujahideen till 2015, had broken away to form his own outfit, the Lashkar-e-Islam. He was killed in the Lachipora area near the Line of Control with Pakistan as he was trying to infiltrate the Valley from across the border, Baramulla Senior Superintendent of Police Imtiyaz Hussain said. He was reportedly trying to return to take charge of the Hizbul Mujahideen again.

Mobile internet services were suspended in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district, including in Sopore, reported Greater Kashmir. Officials said this was to prevent rumours from being spread.

Hussian said that Najar was involved in more than 50 murders of civilians and security forces, besides making improvised explosive device bombs. The militant is also believed to have been involved in the attacks on cellphone towers in Sopore in 2015.

The Lashkar-e-Islam leader was an active militant in Jammu and Kashmir for the past 17 years, The Times of India reported. The 43-year-old was a resident of Sopore and carried a bounty of Rs 10 lakh. “He joined militancy at 16,” Hussain was quoted as saying. “He was arrested in 1992 and later released...Najar once again took up arms in 1995.”