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Militants Forced To Hide in “Underground-Caves”; Have Stopped Trusting Villagers

Where do militants hide in the Kashmir Valley before taking refuge in villages where local intelligence leads to CASO and SADO operations by the Indian Forces?  According to media reports, militants have been forced to stay together in large groups in underground cave-like hideouts dug in orchards and along banks of shallow streams. EurAsian Times publishes a media report of  GreaterKashmir.

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Accurate and precise intelligence was helping Indian forces locate the underground militant hideouts too in southern Kashmir. Since November 24, three major encounters between militants and troops occurred in open orchards in Pulwama and Anantnag districts, resulting in the killing of 15 militants including top commanders of Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Ansaar-Gazwatul Hind (AGH).

Significantly, all the encounters erupted around underground hideouts the militants had dug in open areas where they stayed in groups of five or six. According to security officials, the first such encounter with militants in the open it turned out they had dug up a hideout in an orchard using a tin shed as cover in southern Anantnag district. Six militants were killed there, including top LeT commander Azad Malik alias Dada.

A similar encounter took place in Sirnoo village of Pulwama where three militants were killed. They were found hiding in an underground hideout in an orchard. However, seven civilians were killed in firing by government forces during disturbances after that gun battle that also left a soldier dead. Among the slain was the Hizb commander Zahoor Thokar, who had deserted army to join the militant group last year.

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The third such encounter during the last four weeks, militants were found to have built a hideout in a “cave-like structure” in Midoora village of Tral, in Pulwama district. Six AGH militants, including the group’s deputy chief Soliah were killed.

A top security official said the group had made the hideout near a shallow stream. “Except Sirnoo operations, the other two were conducted in a clean manner without any collateral damage,” said an officer

A top police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity said after killing of 250 militants this year so far, the rebels do not trust anybody now for their safe stay. “So lack of accommodation, their mistrust on the people is pushing them to underground hideouts,” he said.

“Militants are feeling unsafe by taking shelter in residential houses. The fact is that if they get a house to hide, why they need an orchard to dig. Of late, they have started to stay together in the groups of five to six in the underground bunkers. Sometimes, our intelligence works and we corner them.”

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