80 foreign militants of LeT, HM outfits operational in Pir Pan

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Jammu, Feb 20 (UNI) With over 300 militants actively operating in the Pir Panjal range of Jammu and Kashmir, 80 militants representing hardcore Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujaheedin (HM), are equally operational in different districts of the state.

Well placed sources told UNI that over 300 militants are still active and operational in different districts of Jammu and Kashmir including the foreigner mercenaries from Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujaheedin.

''As the snow has started melting, the militants of various outfits are coming out of their hideouts after spending hibernation period,'' sources said adding that approximately 350 militants with local and foreign identities may become alert and operational in the bordering districts in the post summer session.

''Around 130 militants are active in Reasi district and its adjoining areas including 40 of them being foreigners while the Doda district has hasd atleast 100 militants with 5-10 foreigners representing Lashkar and HM outfits,'' defence spokesman Lt Col S D Goswami told UNI.

He said that due to the heavy snowfall in the Doda, Ramban, Bhaderwah and Kishtwar districts, the militants have undergone hibernation period.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Doda, Manohar Singh said that the number of militants here (Doda) is very less and due to severe cold and snowfall, they are hiding in various hideouts or moved out of the remote areas. ''At present the militancy related activities are not much functional but in summer, there may increase their activities and infiltration attempts,'' Mr Singh said.

Meanwhile, sources said that in Doda district, militants representing Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit with dozens of foreigners are more vigorous than those who belong to Hizbul Mujaheedin having local youths.

UNI VBH RAR PK RK2224

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