New militant tactics in Kashmir
- The longest operation was carried out in north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. Militants killed a soldier there on October 28 and have engaged security forces thrice since then, before fleeing into the woods of the Bhutoo Forest Range. The group has since played cat and mouse with the Army and the police.
- Four or five militants were holed up in the upper reaches of Bandipora. They are not coming down into the urban pockets. The group has split itself into smaller groups and constantly move from one village to another within the forest range and get supplies
- Around 60 km away from Bandipora, another Hizbul Mujahideen group of between four and five, is holed up in the Handwara forest range ever since it led a surprise attack on October 5, leaving four soldiers , in Hafruda Forest range.
- The second fire fight with the same group took place on November 22 in Bhuvan area of the Hafruda range. The Hizb, in a statement, hailed the batch for “successful attacks on the Army.”
- The third LeT group is holed up in Kupwara’s Manigah forest. The group engaged the security forces in fire fight five times this month. Colonel Santosh Mahadik of the Rashtriya Rifles was killed and two soldiers were injured in the on-going operations.
- They are continuously fighting with the forces to cross the reception area and to come into the hinterland
- The Army, which has laid siege to large swathes of forest range and villages in Manigah, is waiting for the onset of winter to make its job easier. With each passing day things are becoming more difficult for them to sustain in the forest.
- The continuous siege of populated areas, however has come under criticism from human rights activists and political leaders.
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