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After two terror kingpins, former Kashmiri terrorist slain in Karachi

Syed Khalid Raza - former Al Badr terrorist and "renowned educationist" shot dead in Pakistan's Karachi (Photo: Twitter)

Syed Khalid Raza, former commander of the Pakistan-based terror outfit Al Badr was shot dead outside his residence in Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday by unidentified gunmen.

This is the third killing of a Kashmiri terrorist in the past one week – two of which took place in Pakistan and one in Afghanistan.

On February 21, Bashir Ahmad Peer alias Imtiaz Alam of the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) was shot dead in an identical manner by unidentified gunmen around his residence in Rawalpindi – the headquarters of the Pakistani Army. Similarly, on February 14, one of top Islamic State (IS) terrorists Aijaz Ahmad Ahangar was reportedly killed by the Taliban in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan.

Sindhi nationalist group, the Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA) has claimed credit for Raza’s killing.

Pakistani newspapers have reported the Karachi killing of Syed Khalid Raza as that of “a renowned educationist”. He has also been described as “a senior office-bearer of a private schools association” by the Dawn newspaper. Other Pakistani media have described him as the vice chairman of the Federation of Private Schools.

Raza died of a single bullet wound to the head and died on the spot. Investigating agencies said the assailants were waiting for him and have labelled it as a targeted killing.

The Samaa website says that investigators have “hinted at the involvement of a foreign hand in the incident”. The shooter was well trained and used a 30-bore bullet that has never been used before. The posting, however, acknowledged that Raza was a “renowned educationist and former member of Al-Badr”.

Interestingly, no case has been registered in the killing of Raza as yet.

Al Badr, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States, was formed in June 1998 to strengthen the ‘Kashmiri freedom struggle’ and ‘liberate’ Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) to merge it with Pakistan.

It is one of the several terrorist offshoots of the Jamaat-e-Islami and has often worked along with the notorious HM. Significantly, Peer who was killed in Rawalpindi was a founding member of HM. Syed Salahuddin, HM’s leader attended Peer’s funeral at the Pakistani Army’s burial ground and made an incendiary speech against India.

Al Badr had been set-up in 1998 by Pakistan’s notorious spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to wage jihad in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). Al Badr terrorists were trained to attack both Indian security forces and civilians, but they also killed women for not observing Islamic principles.

The group started training camps in Pakistan to send fighters to J&K for violence. It also trained fighters to conduct suicide attacks. It was in 2005 that the US identified Al Badr as a terrorist organisation and listed it as a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation.

Also read: Two mysterious killings in Afghanistan, Pakistan bring a major setback to terrorism in Kashmir