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Poonch ambush: What we know about PAFF which claimed responsibility for terror attack

Dec 22, 2023 04:48 PM IST

The PAFF is a proxy outfit of Jaish-e-Mohammed and was involved in terror acts and issuing threats to security forces, political leaders, civilians.

The People's Anti-Fascist Front or PAFF, an offshoot of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), claimed responsibility for the Poonch terror ambush in Jammu and Kashmir in which four soldiers were killed and three injured on Thursday. The bodies of two of the slain soldiers were mutilated, officials said.

A damaged Indian Army vehicle after an attack by terrorists in Poonch district on Thursday, (PTI)
A damaged Indian Army vehicle after an attack by terrorists in Poonch district on Thursday, (PTI)

Security and defence experts have called for immediate strengthening of the security management and intelligence network along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu region, which witnessed the killing of 59 people, including 24 security personnel and 28 terrorists, in terror incidents this year.

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Lt General Paramjit Singh (retd), who headed the Nagrota-based XVI corps of the army, acknowledged that the terrain where the incident took place is a difficult one. "But having said that one needs to be prepared for all eventualities," he said.

The ambush came weeks after a major gunfight in the Dharmsal belt of Bajimaal forest area in nearby Rajouri district that had left five Army personnel, including two captains, dead last month.

A top commander of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Quari, who masterminded several attacks, including the killing of 10 civilians and five Army personnel, and his associate were killed in the two-day-long encounter in November.

What do we know about People’s Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF)?

  • The PAFF is a proxy outfit of Maulana Masood Azhar-led Jaish-e-Mohammed and was involved in terror acts and issuing threats to Indian security forces, political leaders, civilians in J&K, and other states.
  • It was banned by the ministry of home affairs (MHA) under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in January for carrying out terror activities in Kashmir.
  • The MHA banned PAFF after it banned The Resistance Front, an offshoot of Lashkar-e-Taiba, for carrying out terror activities in Kashmir.
  • The PAFF emerged in 2019 as a proxy outfit of JeM, a proscribed terrorist organisation listed at serial number 6 of the First Schedule under the UAPA.
  • It regularly issues threats to Indian security forces, political leaders, civilians working in Jammu-Kashmir from other states and is involved, along with other organisations, in conspiring pro-actively physically and in social media to undertake violent terrorist acts and Jammu-Kashmir and other major cities in India, the MHA said.
  • PAFF terrorists are known to use body cameras to film their attacks. They then use the films for propaganda.
  • In April this year, the PAFF attacked an Indian Army truck in Poonch and filmed it.

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