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26/11 Mumbai attack anniversary: US announces $5 mn bounty

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26/11 Mumbai terror attack
26/11 Mumbai terror attack (File Photo)

New York, Nov 26: Timed for the tenth anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai attack on Monday, the US government has announced a $5 million-bounty covering all the terrorists connected with it.

The reward offered under the State Department’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) Programme is for “any individual who committed, conspired to commit, or aided or abetted in the execution” of the attack that killed 166 people, a Department media note said on Sunday.

This is the third RFJ bounty from the State Department on terrorists involved in the Mumbai attack carried out by the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as it casts a wider net beyond its leaders.

In 2012, the Department put a bounty of $10 million on LeT founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and $2 million on his deputy, Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki.

The rewards have not worked so far and Saeed operates openly in Pakistan, leaving the effectiveness of the latest steps open to question.

Under international pressure, the Pakistani Punjab government put him under house arrest in January in 2017 but a review board headed by a Lahore High Court judge ordered his release in November that year.

Saeed has also been declared an international terrorist by the UN Security Council.

Before the Mumbai attack, the US had designated the LeT as a terrorist organisation in 2001 and imposed sanctions on it and the UN Security Council followed suit in 2005.

The RFJ website, which said the “reward offer extends to any individual who bears responsibility for this act of terror”, mentioned four persons, who, it said, have been indicted by a US federal court.

They are Sajid Mir, Major Iqbal, Abu Qahafa and Mazhar Iqbal (alias Abu al-Qama).

The RJF website said that Mir was the handler for Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley, who was sent by the LeT on a spying mission to India to prepare for the attacks.

Ten heavily-armed terrorists, sneaked in through the Arabian Sea and attacked multiple locations within a small geographical area, killing 166 persons — including Indian security personnel and 26 foreign nationals — and left another 300 injured, besides inflicting huge damage to public and private properties.

Headley, whose original name was Daood Sayed Gilani, is serving a 35-year prison sentence in the US for his role in the Mumbai attack and in a terrorism conspiracy against a Danish newspaper.

IANS

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J&K: Pakistan violates ceasefire along LoC in Poonch

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Srinagar, Feb 21: The Pakistan army violated ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch sector on Wednesday late night.

This comes at a time when relations between the two countries have soured in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack that killed at least 40 CRPF jawans on February 14.

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Himachal avalanche: 5 soldiers still missing, rescue underway

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Avalanche, Representative Image, PC Zee News

Shimla, Feb 21: Despite inclement weather, rescuers on Thursday resumed a search operation near the Tibet border with Himachal Pradesh where a snow avalanche claimed life of a soldier and five went missing.

As the rescue operations entered the second day, the authorities suspected that the soldiers might be trapped in the snow pile spread over a 200 square metre area.

“This morning the search operation began despite intermittent snowfall,” a government official told news agency IANS.

The calamity triggered yesterday when the glacier near Namgia Dogri, burying six jawans of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles while 16 of them were on a routine patrol.

Five Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITBP) soldiers were also wounded in the mishappening.

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Fresh snowfall, landslides shut Jammu-Srinagar highway

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Jammu, Feb 21: Fresh snowfall in the Bannihal sector and multiple landslides in the Ramsoo-Ramban sector blocked the Jammu-Srinagar highway, prompting halt of all traffic on Thursday on the strategic route.

“Over a foot of fresh snow has accumulated on the highway in Bannihal sector. There have been multiple landslides triggered by heavy rain at places in the Ramsoo-Ramban sector, as well,” a traffic department official said.

It is raining heavily along the 300-km stretch at various places both in the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu division.

“No vehicular traffic will be allowed on the highway today. Snow and landslide clearance operation will be started immediately after the weather improves,” the Traffic Department said.

The official said stranded vehicles along the highway were all parked at safe places.

The highway is regarded as the jugular vein of the landlocked valley as all essential supplies are routed to Kashmir through this road. Each time the highway gets blocked, shortages of essential supplies hit the valley.

From February 6 to 12 the highway had remained shut causing acute crisis in the valley.

IANS

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