ISI stole US sniper guns and handed it over to Jaish in Kashmir
Jammu, Oct 30: The fresh worry in the Valley is the use of sniper guns by terrorists. Three personnel were killed in sniper attacks, which has led the security mechanism to re-work a fresh strategy.
The guns that the terrorists of the Jaish-e-Mohammad are using are the same ones used by the NATO forces against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Security officials tell OneIndia that these weapons were stolen from the US forces by the Taliban and then sold to the ISI.
The ISI in turn provided them to the Jaish terrorists, the official also added.
It may be recalled that Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Samir Tiger, had circulated images of himself on the social media posing with the M-4 Carbine. While it was believed that the Hizbul Mujahideen too was using this weapon, investigations later revealed that he had borrowed it to pose for the photograph.
When Samir Tiger was killed in an encounter a few months back, the security forces had recovered from him an AK-47 rifle.
The first sniper attack took place on September 18, when a CRPF personnel was injured at Newa in Pulwama. While at first it was seen as a one off attack, the concerns grew after three more attacks claimed the lives of a Sashstra Seema Bal jawan and an Army personal in Tral and a CISF jawan in Nowgam.
While the Jaish-e-Mohammad has claimed responsibility for the attack, the concern is that this new strategy by terrorists would require an overhaul of the security mechanism.
An Intelligence Bureau official told OneIndia that this is a new strategy that has been adopted by the Jaish. They wanted to move away from their routine attacks and introduced an element of surprise. The official also said that the sniper team comprises four persons from the Jaish who move around in buddy pairs.
The sniper team was trained thoroughly by the ISI and Pakistan army, before they were launched into the Valley, officials also say. The M-4 carbine is mounted with a telescope and the terrorists are using night vision devices to locate their potential targets, the officials said. The weapon can fire at its target up to 500-600 metres with precision.
In all the instances of sniper attacks, the terrorists used a nearby hillock to carry out strikes on a security force campus when unsuspecting jawans were using their mobile phones to talk to their family or friends.
These attacks have been precise, even while targeting a personnel inside a sentry post as he uses his mobile phone. They pick up the light of the mobile phone to carry out the attack on jawans, officials also said.
Upping the guard:
Meanwhile the security mechanism has upped its guard and a manhunt launched to track down these snipers. The worry is that there could be more attempts by Pakistan to launch snipers and hence a high alert too has been sounded in the Valley.
A letter written by Kashmir IGP, S Pani says that there is a concern over sniper attacks by terrorist groups. The letter also suggests safety measures such as raising the height of the walls around security camps. Further the letter also states that there is a need to sensitise the forces to this new trend.