Security personnel after an 18-hour-long gun battle with militants that ended in Mujgund area on the outskirts of Srinagar on Dec. 9, 2018. A Pakistani commander of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit and two Kashmiri militants were killed by the Indian forces. (IANS photo)

NEW DELHI – The Pakistan Army's Special Service Group has trained around 20 Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists in Afghanistan to carry out attacks in India ahead of Aug. 5, the first anniversary of the constitutional reorganization of Jammu and Kashmir, and Aug. 15, the Independence Day.

Intelligence sources told IANS Pakistan Army's SSG, a special force which is skilled in unconventional warfare (cross-border terrorism), has trained batches of four to five terrorists who are being pushed to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir from the Line of Control and the International Border.

"The attacks are to be carried out by JeM or LeT terrorists trained in Afghanistan," a top official source said.

There has been a build-up of trained Lashkar-e-Taiba and JeM cadres at forward launching pads in Pakistan across the Jammu sector, sources said. Security agencies in J&K believe that a huge number of terrorists are likely to make attempts to infiltrate from vulnerable points across the IB in Jammu region and adjoining border of Punjab.

As per credible inputs, sources said, there has been heightened activity of LeT and JeM ahead of Aug. 5, the day on which J&K was reorganized last year, resulting in nullification of Article 370. A group of three terrorists, including a local youth, as per intelligence sources, are planning to attack a BSF camp in Kashmir.

Defense sources told IANS said the security grids have already been strengthened across the LoC and the IB in Jammu and Kashmir. One attempt at infiltration by Pakistan was foiled recently in Kupwara district.

Incidentally, Pakistan-based chief of another Kashmir-centric banned terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, Syed Salahuddin in his latest audio tape attempted to instigate people of Kashmir in the name of Islam, to pick up arms and declare war against India.

The Pakistan-banned terror outfit JeM, which runs its terror activities in Kashmir, has become active in Afghanistan, too. In the last one week, 31 terrorists, including 13 Pakistani nationals belonging to JeM, were killed in an operation by Afghan security forces in Mirza Khel in Khogyani district of Afghanistan.

In June, a UN Security Council report had said that not only do the Taliban and Al-Qaida continue to cooperate with each other, but Kashmir-specific Pakistani terror groups JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba are sending their trainers to Afghanistan to carry out target assassinations. The report had said that around 6,500 Pakistani terrorists, including 1,000 from Jaish and Lashkar, are present in Afghanistan.

This was followed by a Pentagon report, which said the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region remains a sanctuary for LeT, Al-Qaida (AQ), al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and ISIS-Khorasan.

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