Former Pakistan army regular, 2 ultras with M4 carbines ‘behind’ Poonch IAF attack : The Tribune India

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Former Pakistan army regular, 2 ultras with M4 carbines ‘behind’ Poonch IAF attack

Former Pakistan army regular, 2 ultras with M4 carbines ‘behind’ Poonch IAF attack

The May 4 ambush in Poonch had led to the killing of one IAF corporal and left four others injured. - File photo



Arjun Sharma

Jammu, May 9

Many former Pakistan army regulars, using United States (US)-made M4 carbines, along with battle-hardened terrorists trained not only in Pakistan but also in Afghanistan are believed to have infiltrated into the Rajouri and Poonch region. A similar group was behind the recent ambush on a military vehicle in Poonch.

Over dozen terrorists have infiltrated

  • Over a dozen such terrorists have infiltrated into the Poonch- Rajouri region and are operating in a group of two to three members
  • In absence of local terrorists, Pakistan is now pushing its retired soldiers into terrorism and launching attacks on the Indian side

Intelligence agencies have gathered information from different sources and come to the conclusion that three terrorists were probably behind the attack on an Indian Air Force (IAF) convoy in Shahsitar area of Poonch on May 4, in which one personnel was killed and four others injured.

The Army intelligence had received inputs after similar ambushes earlier as well in Poonch that the role of former Pakistani soldiers could not be ruled out, as these attacks were carried out by well-trained individuals having military-grade training.

Three names have now cropped up after the recent attack. These include Illiyas, alias Fauji, who is a former Pakistan army regular, and two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) ultras, including Abu Hamza and Hadun. The information was gathered by intelligence agencies after ground and technical surveillance.

It is believed that over a dozen such terrorists have infiltrated into the Rajouri and Poonch region and are operating in a group of two to three members.

The development also exposes the new strategy being employed by Pakistan’s ISI, in which retired soldiers are being sent with terrorists to launch attacks on security forces, especially in Rajouri and Poonch areas, which are located along the Line of Control (LoC). This is, however, not for the first time that the name of retired Pakistani army soldier has come up in a terror attack.

In November 2023, former GOC-in-C of Northern Command, Lt General Upendra Dwivedi, who is now the Vice-Chief of the Army Staff, had said some terrorists who were killed in different encounters in J&K had been identified as retired Army personnel from Pakistan.

Sources have informed that during the recent attack, the terrorists were hiding in the bushes before they attacked the IAF convoy. First, the firing was done on windshield to immobilise the vehicle. Firing was then started from the sides of the vehicle. The soldiers retaliated, which forced the ultras to escape.

Training for survival in forest areas is also a part of jungle warfare which these ultras are well aware of. Hiding from security forces after attacking the convoys is a part of their training, sources informed.

Security forces had in November last year killed two terrorists who were trained on the Afghanistan front in Kalakote of Rajouri. One of them had been identified as a former Pakistan army regular. The ultras involved in attacks in Rajouri and Poonch have been using sophisticated weaponry with steel bullets to cause maximum damage to security forces.

It is believed that with absence of local terrorists in J&K, Pakistan is now pushing its retired soldiers into terrorism and launch attacks on the Indian side.

“Another trend is the use of US made M-4 carbines which were abandoned by the US when they left Afghanistan. This means that terrorists have been able to get access to the weaponry left behind by the US,” a source said.

#Afghanistan #Indian Air Force #Jammu #Pakistan #Poonch #Rajouri #United States of America USA


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