45% militants in Kashmir belong to foreign origin

  • Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jan 15, 2015 22:49 IST

Foreign militants, particularly the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), continue to comprise around 45% of Jammu and Kashmir's militancy, with one such Pakistan-based recently-infiltrated militant commander killed in Sopore on Wednesday.

"We continue to see foreign terrorists' presence between 40 to 50%. The sidelining of the militant Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and downsizing of the Hizbul Mujahideen has seen increase in foreign terrorists, who are more ruthless," director general of police (DGP) K Rajendra told the Hindustan Times.

The security forces during an encounter in Sopore in North Kashmir on Wednesday killed a foreign recruit of the LeT in his twenties, who, according to security agencies, was a Pakistani national and infiltrated just a few months ago from the Kupwara Sector near the Line of Control. The investigation is on to ascertain his exact location inside Pakistan.

Though the militancy is at its lowest ebb in Kashmir in the past few years, the militants present in the state are around 100, however, very few attacks are being carried out.

In December last year, the foreign militants succeeded to attack the strategically located Mahoura army base in Uri, which left 17 persons, including six militants dead.

In year 2014, of 101 killed militants, 29 were locals and 24 foreigners. The identity of 48 other killed militants could not be ascertained. The foreign militants killed last year mainly came from Lashkar ranks, though, Pakistan-based Jash-e-Muhammad, according to police reports, have again started recruiting locals to create a support base for its foreign cadre. Jash's five militants were killed and many held last year in the valley.

"Yes, Lashkar has succeeded to even make local recruitment," admitted DGP Rajendra.

There has been a modus operandi adopted by militant handlers across the border to recruit local overground cells to provide logistics to target-specific Lashkar groups, who necessarily do not come to stay longer in the valley but remain focused only on the aims pre-assigned across the LoC, said sources in the security agencies.

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