Intercepts Suggest Taliban Presence In Kashmir Valley

5 April 2009
The Hindu

New Delhi: The militancy scenario in Jammu and Kashmir may change as wireless and satellite intercepts suggest presence of a group of nearly 15 'Taliban militants' in higher reaches of Kupwara in north Kashmir. While all central security forces and agencies and the Army are tight-lipped over the development, sources in the Home Ministry said wireless messages of a group of militants holed up in Chowkibal area of Trehgham in Kupwara were intercepted. Another such communication was heard in Lolab area, also in Kupwara, they said. The intercepts, the sources claimed, were enough to 'shock' the security agencies as one group identified itself as being part of the Taliban which had crossed the Line of Control using the Global Positioning System (GPS)-enabled maps. The sources said a gun-battle was already on in the area for last five days and even the Army was encountering tough resistance from the group believed to be numbering between 10 and 15. So far the two militants from the group are believed to have fallen to the bullets of the Army but their bodies are yet to be found due to heavy gun fire from the militants' side, the sources said. In the intercept, the sources said, militants of Lashkar-e-Taiba, suspected to be behind the Mumbai carnage, were heard asking the Taliban to go back but the militants had refused to go by it.