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Earthquake Destroys Militant Bases in Pakistani Kashmir - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Srinagar, Asharq Al-Awsat- While the reports say that the deadly earthquake has crippled militant”s infrastructure in Pakistan administered Kashmir, a second attempt to infiltrate the Line of Control was foiled today by the Indian army.

Military intelligence sources in Indian administered Kashmir revealed that several wireless intercepts have highlighted that militant groups, Lashkar-e-Taibba, Jaish-e-Mohd, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Hizbul Mujahideen and Al-Badr have suffered heavy causalities.

A defense spokesperson reported that the Indian army killed eight militants as it foiled a second infiltration attempt in the Nowgam sector of the Kupwara district from across the border, since the killer earthquake struck Jammu and Kashmir on October 8, 2005.

Five AK assault rifles, two pistols and a large quantity of ammunition and explosives were found belonging to the killed militants, the spokesman said.

This was the second unsuccessful attempt by militants, following Sunday”s attempt in which eight militants were killed by the troops in Gulmarg of the Baramulla district.

The Lashkar-e-Taibba hospital and madrassa (religious school) which operate in Muzaffarabad, in Pakistan controlled Kashmir are completely damaged.

Muzaffarabad was the epicenter of the earthquake that struck on Saturday morning killing thousands on both sides of Kashmir.

On Sunday, a statement issued by Syed Salaudin, chairman of the United Jihad Council, an umbrella organization of militant groups based in Pakistani Kashmir declaring the suspension of all operations in Indian Kashmir. A statement followed it from Jamait Ultafa to the media saying, &#34We have lost many of our men, several lie buried. Several are critical so we announce the temporary suspension of all activities.&#34

The Indian army chief, General J. J Singh also stated Tuesday, that training and recruitment camps operating in Pakistan controlled Kashmir might have been ”affected” in Saturday”s killer earthquake. He told media, &#34many of the camps were located in the Balakot, Manshera, and Rawalkot areas of Pakistani Kashmir, so when entire villages in these areas were wiped out, it is likely that these militant camps were also affected.&#34

Tehrik-ul-Mujahideen (TuM), said the buildings of some organizations around Muzaffarabad had been damaged with &#34boys (militants) buried under it.&#34

They added that the majority of the training camps were located near the epicenter of the quake with Lashkar”s office and hospital in Muzaffarabad destroyed.

The three camps of Lashkar-e-Taibba at Muzaffarabad headed by Zakir-ul Rahman and each having at least 100 recruits, have also been demolished by the earthquake. Twenty kilometers north of that location, another Lashkar camp was situated at Manshera, which has also been destroyed by the devastating earthquake.

The recruitment camps of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, Al-Badr at Batrassi and Ougi and Hizbul Mujahideen at Jungle-Mangal, have been damaged largely, the sources said.

Security experts in Indian administered Kashmir say that Pakistan has refused Indian assistance because Indian presence would have disclosed the fact that Pakistan ran militant camps, which Pakistan has always denied.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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