Kashmir rebels threaten surge in attacks
29 August, 2013
MUZAFFARABAD: Kashmiri rebels are threatening an "unprecedented" surge in attacks on Indian targets as deadly skirmishes imperil any rapprochement between Pakistan's new government and New Delhi.
A fresh influx of battle-hardened fighters is ready to flood the disputed Himalayan territory, where India and Pakistan have fought two wars, from Afghanistan when NATO troops quit next year.
Syed Salahudeen, the head of United Jihad Council, an umbrella organisation of groups fighting against Indian rule in Kashmir, said "thousands" of rebels would move across from Afghanistan.
"The coming months and years will see a tremendous surge in mujahedeen's activities" in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK), he told AFP.
"The encounter between mujahedeen and Indian forces will enhance to an unprecedented level. The increase in attacks will be enormous and Indian forces will face huge losses."
Regular deadly exchanges of fire across the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC) have killed 11 people since August 5 and sent tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours soaring.
The latest spate of clashes began when five Indian soldiers were killed in a raid that New Delhi blamed on the Pakistani military. The attack came shortly after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office, promising to improve ties with India.