SRINAGAR: Indian police said on Monday that one of the "key conspirators" behind a suicide attack that killed over 40 paramilitary personnel in occupied Kashmir had died in a shootout with security forces.
Mudasir Ahmed Khan, who was shot dead on Sunday, was described by authorities as a top commander belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) who claimed the deadly February 14 bombing in Pulwama district.
The attack on a convoy of paramilitaries in the disputed valley was the deadliest in decades, and led to airstrike against what the Modi administration called a JeM training camp on Pakistani soil in Balakot.
Pakistan, which denied supporting JeM, responded by shooting down two Indian warplanes and capturing one pilot, whose return two days later pulled the nuclear-armed countries back from the brink.
Pakistan slams India over Pulwama attack propaganda
Police in occupied Kashmir said that an investigation had "revealed that Mudasir was one of the key conspirators" of the deadly attack on Indian forces.
Mudasir was shot in Tral -- a town in Pulwama district where the suicide bombers struck -- along with another gunman Indian police claimed was from Pakistan.
KJS Dhillon, the local army commander in occupied Kashmir, said that 14 alleged JeM militants, including six commanders, had been eliminated in a crackdown in the aftermath of the bombing.
Police said the mastermind of the convoy attack was killed on February 18 along with two other JeM associates in a shootout in occupied Kashmir.