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128 Kashmir youth join militancy this year

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Srinagar, Aug 10: The number of youth who have joined militancy in the first seven months of this year has already crossed the figures for the previous year, which was the highest since 2010.

Quoting police figures, a report in ‘Tribune’ said 128 youth have picked up arms so far this year against 126 last year.

“The highest number of recruits, nearly 90 percent, has come from volatile south Kashmir districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag,” it said.

Twin districts of Shopian and Pulwama, it said, account for nearly 70 new recruits.

The report said that the militant recruitment saw an increase following a gunfight on April 01 that left 13 militants, including top Hizb ul Mujahideen commander Saddam Paddar and professor-turned-militant Mohammad Rafi, dead.

Most of the recruits have joined Hizb ul Mujahideen, followed by Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir told the Lok Sabha that 60 incidents of violence had taken place till March 04 this year, as against 39 such incidents during the same period last year.

Replying to a written question, he said 15 forces’ personnel, 17 militants and two civilians had been killed till March 04 this year.

During the same period last year, 10 forces’ personnel, 26 militants and four civilians were killed.

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