The killed terrorist was a close associate of Lashkar-e-Taiba's chief commander. (Representational)
A terrorist wanted in India was shot dead by unidentified gunmen inside a mosque in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir on Friday, officials said.
This was the fourth such killing of a top terrorist commander operating from across the border this year.
Riyaz Ahmad alias Abu Qasim, affiliated with the proscribed Lashkar-e-Taiba, was one of the main conspirators behind the Dhangri terror attack on January 1.
Seven people died and 13 were injured when terrorists struck Dhangri village of Rajouri district and fired indiscriminately. They also left behind an improvised explosive device that went off the following morning.
Originally hailing from the Jammu region, Ahmad exfiltrated across the border in 1999. He was considered as the brains behind the revival of terrorism in the twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri, the officials said.
Quoting reports from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK), they said Ahmad was shot dead by unidentified gunmen inside the Al-Qudus mosque in the Rawalakot area during pre-dawn prayers.
Ahmad mostly operated from the Lashkar-e-Taiba base camp in Muridke but had recently shifted to Rawalakot. He was a close associate of Sajjad Jaat, the Lashkar-e-Taiba's chief commander, and also looked after the outfit's finances, the officials said.
He was the fourth top commander of different terror outfits operating from Pakistan to be gunned down this year.
In March, a top commander of the banned Hizbul Mujahideen was shot dead by unidentified assailants in Pakistan's Rawalpindi.
Bashir Ahmad Peer alias Imtiyaz Alam, who hailed from Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district, had been living in Pakistan for more than 15 years. He was accused of getting Zakir Musa, chief commander of the Ansar Gazwat-ul-Hind -- an offshoot of al-Qaeda in Kashmir -- killed in May 2019.
In February, unidentified gunmen shot dead former Al-Badr Mujahideen commander Syed Khalid Raza in the port city of Karachi in what police described as a targeted attack.
Aijaz Ahmad Ahangar, a Kashmiri terrorist functioning as a top commander of the global terror group Islamic State, was found dead -- reportedly killed by the Taliban -- in Afghanistan's Kunar Province earlier this year.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)