JeM vow to avenge militant killings in Kashmir

Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) on Monday threatened to carry out fidayeen (suicide) attacks on security forces to avenge the killings of 13 local Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants and four civilians.

A local news gathering agency GNS quoting spokesperson's statement said, "We will avenge every drop of blood of Kashmiri people, and this Jihad will continue till the mission of freedom is achieved.

"Hizbul Mujahideen should not feel alone, the Jaish fidayeen are with them; we will together avenge the Indian oppression."

Advocating the idea of pan-Islamism, the JeM was founded by Maulana Masood Azhar in 2000 after he was released in exchange of passengers of Indian Airlines flight IC 814. The JeM was instrumental in carrying fidayeen phase of attacks in Kashmir from early to mid last decade.

Less than two and half months before the fidayeen attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001, one of the deadliest fidayeen attacks was carried out by the JeM on the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly, using a car bomb on October 1, 2001. More than 40 people were killed and many more were injured.

However, the graph of JeM went down after 2004 when Pakistani establishment started a crackdown after it carried an abortive bid to assassinate the then Pakistan president General Parvez Musharaf. Its Kashmir chief and mastermind of Parliament attack Ghazi Baba was killed in an encounter with the Border Security Force (BSF) in Srinagar on August 30, 2003.

Although JeM's presence in the valley still remains low, it carried out several fidayeen attacks on security forces including the one on Indian Army in 2017.

A senior police officer told DH that the JeM has made a comeback and is trying to connect with people in Kashmir.

"There are evidences on the ground that Jaish, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen are operating jointly and sharing their resources to revive the lethal phase of militancy in Kashmir. Jaish is trying to exploit the sympathy wave in Kashmir which was generated after Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's hanging," he said.

"With ground ripe for radicalisation and fidayeen attacks in Kashmir, we fear more violence in coming months and years," the officer warned.

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