September 2001 News

150 terrorist camps identified in Pak, PoK

24 September 2001
The Statesman
SRINJOY CHOWDHURY

New Delhi: The Centre has identified about 150 terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. About 5,000 men are trained in these camps. The camps are run by the Pakistani authorities for terrorists fighting in Jammu and Kashmir, including those of the Lashkar-e-Taiyaba, Jamait-e-Mujahideen, Al Badr, Harkat-ul Mujahideen, the lesser-known Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami, Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Hizbul Mujahideen. The Centre has details on the location, facilities and number of ultras being trained in each camp. The US government is apparently aware of the camps. Besides the usual training in shooting and explosives, some camps train terrorists to use sophisticated weapons and in high-altitude warfare. Some camps were temporarily vacated after the World Trade Center bombings. There are more camps in Pakistan and PoK (many of them just a few km from the Line of Control and the international boundary with India) than in Afghanistan, where officials have identified about 25. About 1,500 militants are trained in the Afghan camps. n The biggest training hub is around Muzaffarabad, capital of PoK. There are 23 camps around here, training between 350 and 450 militants. Nine of them are close to Muzaffarabad. North of Muzaffarabad, there are five camps in Jangal Mangal, Mor, Pir Chinasi and Ghori and to the north-west of the PoK capital, another four at Garhi Habibullah, Uttar Shish and Muaskar-e-Aska. There are five camps south of Muzaffarabad in Nashri, Cheneri, Bhoi, Lohar Gali, Domel and Kot Jaimal. n There are 16 camps in the area facing Rajouri in J&K. About 300 militants are trained in the camps between five and 25 km west of the LoC. They are at Kotli, Sensa, Nikial and Khuiretta. n The area opposite Poonch in J&K is also dotted with small camps. There are about 20 camps, some barely five km from the LoC, including ones at Lanjot, Hazira, Palandri, Rawalkot, Forward Kahuta and Rawalpindi (opposite the Mendhar sector) and Muree. These camps can house between 250 and 300 terrorists. n Aliabad is another major terrorist centre. There are nine camps in the area, barely 10 km from the LoC, to train about 100 terrorists. There are four camps at Chakothi and four at Sharian-Reshian opposite the Uri sector for 120 trainees. n Opposite the Naushera sector, there are 12 camps in Samani, Bhimbar and Mangla for about 250-300 militants between five and 25 km from the LoC. n Close to the LoC opposite Jammu are about seven camps in Chhamb, Putwal and Sialkot for about 150 terrorists. n One of the biggest centres is in Murdike opposite Gurdaspur. It is the headquarters of the LeT and is 30 km west of the Indo-Pak border and close to Lahore. At least 250 LeT and a few Hizbul Mujahideen ultras train here. There are a couple of camps in Sialkot and three at Shakargarh in the general area including Zaffarwal. About 100 terrorists are trained in these camps. n Opposite Kupwara, near Tangdhar, there are five camps at Manshera for over 100 terrorists and another six close to the LoC in the Naukot-Lipa Valley for another 60-70 of them. At Tithwal, there are six camps for 80 terrorists and in Zura-Athmugam, seven for about 100 men. There are seven more camps at Dudhniyal and two at Kel for 150 terrorists. In the Neelam Valley opposite the Keran sector in Baramulla, there are three camps for about 30-40 terrorists.

 

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