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Army arrests top Lashkar commander in J&K

September 14, 2003 22:32 IST

The Indian Army on Sunday arrested a top Lashkar-e-Tayiba militant, a Pakistani national, in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Twenty-five-year old Mohammad Shezad, a resident of Lathiwala village in Faislabad district, was arrested in an injured condition after a daylong encounter in Neel area of Doda.

He said terrorist outfits openly run their offices and training camps in Pakistan and the army does 'everything' to facilitate infiltration of militants into Jammu and Kashmir.

He said infiltrating terrorists are lodged at Pakistan Army's border posts before being pushed into J&K.

"If necessary, covering fire is also provided by Pakistan Army to facilitate infiltration," said Shehzad   citing his personal experience.

"I too was motivated to join in as I was told that mosques are burnt down in J&K and Muslims are oppressed here. But I did not find anything of that sort happening here," he said.

Shehzad said he underwent eight months of training with at least 1000 other terrorists at one of the 10 camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Prior to infiltration via Rajouri, he, along with seven other terrorists and two guides, was lodged at Pakistan Army's Salim post in PoK for 24 hours and there they were provided with arms, ammunition and Indian currency of varying amounts up to Rs 100,000.

Heading a group of about 30 men, Shehzad had been active in Banihal and some other areas of Doda district for last three years.

He evaded all questions about plans of his outfit saying plotting is down at 'higher' levels. But he admitted to at least four terrorist actions against security forces carried out on his directions.

Shehzad, who has lost 22 men in last six months, said terrorist outfits were facing no problem in funding fresh recruits.

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