October 2000 News

Divisions worry militants

22 October 2000
The Hindu

NEW DELHI: Close on the heels of fatricidal clashes among factions of Hizb-ul Mujahideen in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (Pok), reports are coming in of first serious split in mercenary group, Harkatul Mujahideen, formerly the Harkatul Ansar. ''The factors of pursuit of power, territory and resource allocation has led to a serious split in the frontline militant organisation'', reports prominent Pakistani weekly Friday Times. The paper said Harkatul Ansar, declared a foreign terrorist organisation by the United States and now re- christened as Harkatul Mujahideen, had now split into three factions with the parent organisation led by fiery fundamentalist leader, Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil, reduced to a non-entity. The paper''s correspondent reporting from a militant training camp in PoK said the new group, Jaish-I-Mohammad formed by Maulana Masood Azhar, who was released in exchange for hijacked Indian Airlines passengers in Kandahar was attracting militant recruits from all over Pakistan and had succeeded in capturing the Harkat assets. ''Following the American ban Harkat-Ul-Mujahideen and its sister organisation, Harjate Jehad Islami split. Later a prominent Harkat commander, Ilyas Kashmiri, formed his own group. But the group suffered its most severe blow with the launch of Jaish'', the weekly reported. The paper said Azhar had managed to break up the Harkatul Mujahideen more effectively because of his sectarian links with ultra Sunni groups. - PTI

 

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