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February 4, 2002
0941 IST

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Taliban, Al Qaeda fighters can foment trouble in J&K: Report

A new militant outfit, comprising 'thousands' of Pakistani Taliban fighters airlifted by Islamabad following the siege of the Afghan town of Kunduz two months ago, 'might step up violence in Jammu and Kashmir in the coming weeks and months', a media report said.

The outfit, called 'Shoora-e-Furqan' (assembly of believers), 'would be based in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir' and is likely to step up violent activities 'to prove that jihad (holy war) in Kashmir was not dead', a web news agency 'Indo-Asian News Service' said quoting sources 'who claim to be privy to information inside Afghanistan and Pakistan'.

While about 5,000 Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters were reportedly airlifted from Kunduz by Pakistan in November-December last year, it quoted sources as saying the number was 'much higher'.

According to 'a source in Kabul close to assassinated Northern Alliance commander Ahmed Shah Masood', there were between 25,000 to 30,000 Taliban, Pakistani and Al Qaeda fighters at Kunduz at that time.

"While about 6,000 of them surrendered, Pakistani military aircraft evacuated the others", this source told the news agency, adding it was a 'day and night operation, which continued for several days' and could not have taken place without the knowledge of US forces.

"It is not only top Taliban leaders who have disappeared. Hundreds of missiles, tanks and artillery guns, which the Taliban had in its armoury have also disappeared without a trace," the report said.

Quoting London-based Asia Pacific Foundation (APF), it said the evacuation of these fighters could 'substantially increase terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir'.

APF president M J Gohel said in a report, "The portents of this secret evacuation are not good for other nations in the region because these several thousand hardcore Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters will join hands with terror groups based in Pakistan and intensify jihadi activity in China's Xinjiang province, Uzbekistan, Chechnya and Jammu and Kashmir".

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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