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Home > News > Report

Kashmir militants won't use landmines any more

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar | October 18, 2007 18:51 IST

The militant conglomerate, United Jihad Council with headquarters in Muzaffarabad has announced its ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines by militant groups in Kashmir.

UJC is a conglomerate of various militant groups Kashmir headed by Syed Salah-ud-Din, supreme commander of the frontline militant group, Hizbul Mujaheedin.

In a statement, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines said, "The announcement came at the end of a two-week mission to Kashmir by the ICBL and yearlong series of activities carried out in partnership with the Jammu and Kashmir [Images] Coalition of Civil Society."

JKCCS is a Srinagar [Images] based ICBL member, according to the statement.

"The UJC's pledge is yet another sign of the growing acceptance of the norm which prohibits antipersonnel mines because of their indiscriminate nature," said Sylvie Brigot, ICBL Executive Director, in welcoming the announcement.

"We now encourage both India and Pakistan to consider a moratorium on new mine use and to launch comprehensive mine clearance programs" Brigot added. "Most mines in Kashmir are situated near the Line of Control."

"The UJC stated that use of antipersonnel mines is equivalent to blind terror and that use of antipersonnel mines is prohibited under Islam. UJC members are thought to have made only limited use of antipersonnel mines in the past," the statement said.

"In recent years, some of the members, particularly Hizbul Mujahideen and Laskare Toiba, have used command-detonated improvised explosive devices, some of which have caused civilian deaths and injuries," the ICBL statement said.

"The UJC has stated it may continue to use command-detonated IEDs against military targets, but has banned use, production or trade of victim-activated mines as prohibited under the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty," the ICBL statement said.