Shahid Latif, a prominent figure associated with the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist organization, and the chief handler of the fidayeen squad responsible for the 2016 attack on the Pathankot airbase, was fatally shot by unidentified assailants within a mosque in Sialkot, Pakistan.

Sources told TOI that Latif was shot at point-blank range by assailants who displayed a thorough understanding of the local terrain, indicating the potential involvement of local, home-grown terrorists in the attack.

Shahid Latif and 24 other terrorists were released by India in 2010 as part of the UPA government’s efforts to mend relations with Pakistan. Latif’s release had previously been sought by the same Jaish terrorists who had hijacked Indian Airlines flight IC-814.

This hijacking resulted in the release of their leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, along with two others in exchange for 154 passengers in December 1999. However, the Vajpayee government at that time had declined to release Latif and 31 other individuals on Jaish’s ‘wish list’.

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