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Militants shifting base to Bandipora after seven years

Srinagar, October 16: While the neighbouring Sopore is now known as the hotbed for militants, Bandipora had been completely militancy-free since 2008. Over the past one month militants have been spotted active in this border district as well now. Movement of militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) has been reported by security forces and they are suspecting that militants have developed a base camp in the forests of Bandipora after a span of seven years. This is being read as a result of persistent and thorough combing operations by the security forces in the militant-infested districts.
A senior police officer has told the media, “The security forces have conducted massive operations since May this year in North Kashmir forests putting pressure on the militants. Earlier Sopore was their base which the militants used as transit for several years but after operations by security forces, there were pressurised to leave Sopore and have started shifting to Bandipora forests.”
The security forces have further claimed that more than 12 LeT militants are operating from the forests of Bandipora for past two months and security forces have launched operations in Bandipora area to nab them.
It is pertinent to mention here that Bandipora was once a stronghold of militancy with large number of foreign militants operating from the forest area of the district.
Image Courtesy – Reuters