Security forces have killed 470 foreign militants during last 10 months in stepped up anti-insurgency campaign in the militancy hit Jammu and Kashmir. The majority of slain foreigners belonged to Pakistan, an official spokesman said.
"This is the largest number of foreign militants ever killed in one year in the State since cross-border militancy was unleashed by Pakistan in 1990," the spokesman said. He said that 2200 foreign cadres of various outfits have been killed in the State so far, 1530 of them in the last four years.
Citing reasons for the high casualties of foreign militants in the recent past, the spokesman said Pakistan had inducted a large number of such cadres in the militant groups operating in State with a view to hand over control of militancy to them.
Another reason, he said, was the effectiveness of anti-militancy operations launched on the basis of specific information provided by the locals. He said that the casualty graph was on rise and during the month of September, 74 foreigners were killed in the State.
Foreign militants are generally associated with Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad with base camps and headquarters in Pakistan. Relatively small groups like Al Badre Mujahideen, Harkatul Mujahideen and Harkat-e-Jahad-e-Islami also have a sizeable number of foreign cadres. Some foreign militants operate with Hizbul Mujahideen, Jamiat-ul Mujahideen and Al Ummar outfits who have considerable local base in Kashmir Valley. Director General of Police Ashok Suri said that around 2000 foreign cadres are presently active in the state. He said that fifty percent foreigners were associated with pan Islamic Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Toiba outfits.
Published in Dailypioneer.