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Five days after Pulwama incident, Hizbul Mujahideen warns of suicide attacks by local men

This is the first time that an indigenous militant group in Kashmir has warned of suicide attacks. Till now, such attacks, though few, were carried out by the banned Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a Pakistan-based terror group active in Kashmir.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2019 10:12 IST
Mir Ehsan
Mir Ehsan
Hindustan Times, Srinagar
hizbul mujahideen,hizbul warning on suicide attacks,pulwama terror attack
Forensic officials inspect the wreckage of a bus after a suicide bomber rammed a car into the bus carrying Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on Thursday, in Lethpora in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, February 15, 2019.(Reuters)

Kashmiri separatist militant organisation Hizbul Mujahideen on Tuesday warned of fidayeen (suicide) attacks by young boys “as it has become a do-or-die situation for them”.

This is the first time that an indigenous militant group in Kashmir has warned of suicide attacks. Till now, such attacks, though few, were carried out by the banned Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), a Pakistan-based terror group active in Kashmir.

The warning comes five days after a suicide bomber of JeM rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus in a CRPF convoy on Srinagar-Jammu highway at Lethpora, Pulwama, killing at least 40 troopers.

In a 17-minute audio message released on social media groups, Hizbul Mujahideen operational commander Riyaz Naikoo said whatever was happening in Kashmir was the result of atrocities committed on the people.

“You will have to cry till the time you are here. The coffins of your soldiers will continue to fill till your army is here. We are ready to die but won’t allow you to live as well,’’ Naikoo, who is based in south Kashmir, said.

Naikoo, who keeps on releasing such audio messages, said freedom was a passion for Kashmiri youths. “We will keep on sacrificing our lives. We prefer to die than surrender. The day is not far when our 15-year-old children will strap explosives on their bodies and barge into your army vehicles. We prefer death over slavery,” he said.

One of the most wanted militants currently operating in the valley, Naikoo blamed the Indian government for not fulfilling promises made to the people of Kashmir. “The person responsible for the fidayeen attack on forces was a Kashmiri and the atrocities committed on him by the army forced him to carry out the attack. No power in the world can stop this type of attacks.

The attacks will continue till Indian forces remain in Kashmir,” he added.

Meanwhile, security forces are wary of the challenges such attacks could pose to them.“This type of suicide car bomb attack happened after a long time in Kashmir. We are alive to it and keeping all our options open to deal with it in future,’’ Lt General Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon, corps commander of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, said. Earlier, 17-year-old Afaq Ahmed Shah blew himself, along with his Maruti car, to attack the 15 Corps headquarters In May 2000.

First Published: Feb 20, 2019 10:12 IST