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August 19, 2000
Lashkar sending suicide squads into J&K
The Pakistan-backed mercenary outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba is churning out suicide squads of fidayeen guerillas in large numbers to engineer violence and target sensitive installations and VIPs in Jammu and Kashmir, a surrendered Lashkar instructor and militant, Abu Hijrat, said on Saturday.
"As many as 800 mercenaries are getting special three-month training for graduating to fidayeen suicide squad activists at Umal Basti in Muzzafarabad and Bagalpur in Pakistan," Mohammad Nawaz, codename Abu Hijrat, who was an instructor at an Afghan terrorist training camp, told reporters in Jammu.
Hijrat, a resident of Ratli village (Noushera tehsil) of Gujranwala district in Pakistan, said, "Of these, over 400 fidayeen activists are waiting along the Line of Control on the Pakistan side to infiltrate Jammu and Kashmir for carrying out major action against government and security forces."
A fidayeen terrorist is given training in sabotage after his three-month commando course and three months of special training on mapping, surveillance, civilian co-operation plans and intelligence gathering at the Bagalpur, Zafarwal and Umal Basti camps, Hijrat said.
Hijrat, who infiltrated into Jammu via Mendhar LoC on April 14, said hardcore militants, mostly murderers, criminals and religious fanatics, are inducted into fidayeen squads and given training.
Though top Lashkar commanders are instructors, these camps are actively helped by Pakistani Army officers and Inter Services Intelligence officials, he said. A good number of fidayeen terrorists have already infiltrated Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in Rajouri and Poonch, in the last six months, he added.
"I have met several fidayeen activists who were promised that their death penalties would be commuted if they participated in fidayeen attacks in Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
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