76% Of Militants Killed In Kashmir In 2 Years Are Foreigners20 March 2010
Jammu: The composition of militancy in Kashmir continues to be dominated by foreigners - of the 398 militants killed 304 were foreigners, making it 76 per cent of total militants killed in the valley in 2008-09. The level of violence, which declined during this period, has increased in the past few months. Increase in this composition has also led to targeted attacks on security forces as these militants, who generally come from North-Western Frontier Province (NWFP), Punjab, Pakistan occupied Kashmir and other areas of Pakistan, are highly trained and well-equipped with latest arms. Top security officials refuse to confirm whether these militants are trained in Taliban camps but admit that their level of training is very high. “It is actually the commitment also which makes them stronger militants,” said one of the officials, adding “they are so motivated that they are determined to get killed.” In 2008, of the 237 militants killed 171 were foreigners and in 2009 of the 161 militants killed 133 were foreigners. In this year, 21 militants have been killed, of whom five were foreigners. According to figures available with the police, the number of incidents had shown a significant decline in the last two years but past few months have witnessed a spurt. This is also attributed to “foreign leadership” though the number of “new recruits” from the valley is also going up. A recent statement by Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahuddin that the militants would target the urban areas now has been practically implemented as in the last 10 days four major attacks took place in Srinagar city killing at least four people. This has put the security officials in a tizzy and high alert has been sounded amid reports that “a significant number” of militants had sneaked into the city. ‘Overall situation improving' Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kashmir zone, Farooq Ahmad, however, does not agree with this “perception.” “There is little increase but the overall situation is on improving track,” he says, adding that there are 245 listed militants in the valley besides over ground workers. “This number may vary here and there.” Substantiating his claim, he said that in 2008 there were 51 grenade attacks and it remained almost same with 50 attacks in 2009 and so far in 2010 there have been seven such attacks. Similarly, 30 civilians were killed in 2008; 29 in 2009 and nine so far in 2010. But the attacks on security forces have certainly increased. According to the IGP, there were 18 attacks in 2008 and 19 in 2009 but in just two and half months of 2010 the militants have carried out 11 attacks on security forces. In the last three months, 72 incidents of violence have taken place across the State, according to official sources.