Army not surprised by presence of Kashmiri youths in Taliban ranks

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New Delhi, Jul 3 (UNI) Chief of Army Staff General Deepak Kapoor today said the Army was not surprised at the suggestions that some Kashmiri youths have joined ranks of international terrorist organisations al-Qaeda and Taliban.

''Radicals to not worry about nationalities...the possibility could not be ruled out,'' he said.

The Army Chief claimed that when insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir was at its peak, foreign elements had joined hands with local militants.

He was interacting with media and defence experts after delivering a lecture on 'Changing Global Security Environment with specific reference to our region and its imact on the Indian Army'.

In a startling revelation, an Army intelligence report had recently claimed that Jammu and Kashmir was facing a clear threat from groups of Kashmiri youths, who have been trained by the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir(PoK) to carry out terror activities on Indian soil.

The report suggested that Kashmiri Taliban and al-Qaeda militants were being pushed into the valley from ISI posts along the LoC including Gulpur, Jarikhas in PoK.

The report claimed that the cadres were first trained in the camps of Inter-Services Intelligence agency-run al-Qaeda and Taliban in Muzaffarabad, Kotli in PoK and subsequently sent to other parts.

Indian troops yesterday foiled a major infiltration bid when they gunned down eleven heavily armed militants in Keran sector in the Jammu and Kashmir.

The troops guarding the LoC in Keran sector noticed a group of militants sneaking into Indian side from PoK at Roshni post.

When challenged and asked to surrender, the militants opened fire.

The troops also retaliated and in the fierce clash, two militants were killed. A Subedar also laid down his life.

A total of 11 terrorists were killed in the operation which lasted more than 48 hours.

This was the first major infiltration bid since January this year. Officials said about 1,500 militants were waiting across the border to cross over to this side from PoK to disturb the assembly elections scheduled to be held later this year.

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