Officials point to new trend of militants using hideouts away from habitations
Srinagar, Dec 26: In what seems a new trend, more and more cases of militants using cave-like hideouts away from the human habitations are surfacing, say security personnel.
A police official made this remark Wednesday after government forces busted an underground hideout of militants in Awantipora area of Pulwama district where some of the top HizbulMujahideen commanders were believed to be hiding.
The official said a search operation was launched in the area on early Wednesday on a tip off about the presence of militants in the hideout -- a cave-like structure made in a hillock.
Though nothing incriminating could be found by the government forces, there were tell-tale signs of the hideout having been used recently by militants, the official said.
The militants appeared to have deserted it hours before the government forces launched the search operation.
This cave-like hideout, away from the human habitations, was detected Wednesday, barely days after discovery of another similar hideout in Arampora area of Awantipora.
The busting of the second cave-like hideout came four days after six militants of AnsarGhazwatul Hind, an offshoot of ISIS, were killed in an encounter in Arampora area of Awantipora on Saturday.
"The militants killed in the operation on Saturday were also avoiding residential areas for quite sometime and hiding in a cave-like hideout," the official said.
He said six militants including some wanted HizbulMujahideen militants were killed in Saktipora operation in Anantnag district on November 23 while three others were killed in Pulwama district this month.
"In both the cases, the militants had built underground hideouts near orchards," he added.(With PTI inputs)