'Terror Outfits In Kashmir Suffer Major Setback In 2007'
25 December 2007
Times Of India
Jammu: Pro-Pakistan terror outfit Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) has suffered the most among the militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir as it lost 34 top commanders and 307 cadres in gunbattles with security forces in 2007. 'Hizb received a major jolt in 2007 having lost 34 top commanders and 307 cadres in the encounters in 2007,' top police officers said today. As a result, 'Kashmir militancy's backbone has been broken and Hizb cadres have gone into hibernation after getting demoralised,' they said. Hizb tops the list of 13 terror outfits whose top commanders were among those killed, they said. These outfits included Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Al- Badr, Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HuJI), Tahreek-ul-Mujahideen (TuM), Al- Umar, Jamail-ul-Mujahideen (JuM), JK Freedom Force (JKFF), Harkat-ul- Mujahideen (HuM), Hizb-e-Islami (HeI) and Al-Barq. A total of 77 top militant commanders have been killed by security forces till November this year and Hizb tops the list followed by LeT, JeM, HuJI, Al-Badr, HuM, JuM, TuM, HeI and Al-Barq, according to police data. The list of militants killed includes 17 commanders of LeT, 13 of JeM, 10 of HuJI and three of Al-Badr. During past two years of Congress rule in Jammu and Kashmir, 182 commanders were killed and of these 75 commanders were of Hizb followed by 49 of LeT, 18 of JeM, 11 of Al-Badr and 20 of HuJI. In 2006, out of 105 commanders killed, Hizb lost 41, LeT 32, HuJI 10, JeM five and Al-Badr four. In 2005, Hizb lost 31 top commanders, followed by 12 of LeT, nine of Al-Badr, seven of JeM, two commanders each of HuM and HuJI, besides one each of TuM, JuM, HeI and Al-Barq. This year Hizb lost one operation chief commander, four divisional commanders, seven district commanders, nine tehsil commanders, 12 area commanders and company commander, the officers said. Top among those killed in 2007 include Bilal Afghani, chief commander of Al-Badr on December 3 in Budgham followed by Qari Umar (deputy chief of HuJI for J-K), Abu Hamza (chief operation commander of JuM), Qasim Bhatti (chief operation commander of LeT), Iajaz Ahmed Chopan (chief operation commander of HM), Aby Tallah (operation commander of LeT's Jammu region), Mohammad Younis (commander-in- chief, HMPPR) and Mohd Khalid-ur-Rehman (LeT's India operations head). In 2004, Hizb had lost three chief operation commanders, Gazi Shahab-uddin, Gazi Naseer-uddin, Saif-ul-Islam, besides deputy chiefs, Abbas Malik, Shakeel Ansari, intelligence chief Tari Aziz. 'Due to crumbling of the top structure of militant outfits like Hizb, LeT, JeM, lower militant cadres are on run in J-K,' the officers said.