After Afghan soldiers found Taliban training terrorists Jaish-e-Mohammed to launch an attack on India in Kashmir, the radicals killed nine of the government troopers near a check post in Logar province in the Sark district of the province bordering capital Kabul last night.
A spokesperson for the provincial governor, Dedar Lawang said, “While the government forces repulsed the attack and killed ‘scores’ of the Taliban. Unfortunately, we have nine soldiers martyred,” adding that dozens of Taliban insurgents had staged the attack.
The development follows the Monday discovery of JeM cadres in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, which confirmed the assessment of Indian intelligence agencies that Pakistan Army’s spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had resumed training select terrorists for Kashmir in war-ravaged Afghanistan.
While President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani had yesterday renewed his appeal to the Taliban to declare cease-fire amid the coronavirus pandemic in the country, the security forces had raided Nangarhar’s Mohmand (or Momand) Dara on being tipped off it was a Taliban camp. This led to a bloody gunfight, costing the Afghan security forces four lives on 13 and 14 April.
Once the fight was over, the surviving Afghan force found that only five of the 15 men they had killed were from the Taliban and the rest were Pakistani terrorists of the JeM. Searching the area, the Afghan force unearthed documents that showed the Taliban had been training them to fight in Jammu and Kashmir. When the forces interrogated a wounded JeM militant, he corroborated the finding.
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK)-domiciled Yasin, Umar, Said and Mansoor, and Bahawalpur-based chief trainer Chacha Wagah, Junaid and Qari Sahab were training in these camps two Kashmir terror specialists — former Afghan war and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen veteran Mufti Asghar Kashmiri and his deputy JeM’s Kashmir infiltration expert Abdullah aka Asadullah — until 29 March.
After losing four of their soldiers just two days ago, today the Afghan government lost nine more.
In India, Hindustan Times spoke to counter-terror operatives in Delhi and Kabul who said that Masood Azhar’s outfit JeM, a branch of Deoband that the Taliban sprung out of too, had three camps alongside four of the Taliban camps in Nangarhar province. The Taliban lent JeM camps called Khogyani I, Khogyani II and Dargah in Nangarhar province with the agreement that terrorists of the Haqqani network would train in JeM’s camps in Pakistan.
Photographs from the spot of the encounter show two mortar launchers, a rocket-propelled grenade and two AK series rifles, which bear Pakistani tell-tale signs.
With Maulana Masood Azhar reporting sick, his brother Mufti Rauf Asghar is running the show at the JeM. Practically, however, they have Mufti Rauf Asghar presides over the daily terrorist activities. Rauf Asghar’s son Wali Azhar trains in these Afghan camps.
The Khogyani I camp has 23 terrorists and seven trainers. Khogyani II and Dargah camps have 66 in all, excluding instructors and those who help in logistics.
The Taliban give the radicals a 15-day normal training after which they must undergo a six-month “jundullah (commando)” training course and then they are pushed into Jammu and Kashmir. These militants receive jungle survival training in Kunar reserve near the Nuristan border.
The Taliban and JeM together have created miniature replicas of the areas around their launch pads at Neelum, Sharda, Kel, Athmuqam, Leepa, Kotli and Forward Kahuta across the Line of Control (LOC). These are used to demonstrate to the novices how to infiltrate into Kashmir.
Pakistan terror groups had prepared about 230 terrorists to cross the Line of Control. The regular army of Pakistan had air-dropped five on the Indian side of the LoC recently, who got killed in the hands of Indian security forces after they killed five jawans too. India shelled Pakistan the next day with Bofors guns, which killed 15 Pakistani soldiers and eight terrorists.
Indian security experts are concerned that the withdrawal of American and NATO troops from Afghanistan is all set to give Pakistan, an ally of the Taliban, a greater strategic depth to launch terrorists into India.