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70 youth join militant ranks in seven months: official

Kashmir

Jammu: Seventy young men have joined militancy in the past seven months this year with most of the recruits from three districts in south Kashmir, as per sources.

The new recruits mostly belong to Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam districts in south Kashmir, which has become the hub of tech-savvy terrorists.

Since 2014, there has been a constant rise in the number of people joining militancy.

As many as 66 youths joined militancy in Kashmir in 2015 and 53 in 2014, sources said.

In 2010, 54 youths joined militancy and in 2011, the number came down to 23. It further dipped to 21 in 2012 and 16 in 2013.

The Pulwama-Shopian-Kulgam region has become a hotbed of homegrown terrorists, the officials said.

In 2017, as many as 54 men were stopped from joining the ranks of terrorist.

132 terrorists have been killed in encounters with police and security forces in Kashmir Valley in over 7 months period this year.

While 115 terrorists have been killed till July end this year, 17 terrorists have been killed till August 9.

While 38 terrorists belonging to LeT were killed in over 7 months till 9 August, it was followed by killing of 37 terrorists of Hizb and 3 terrorists belonging to Musa Group of al-Qaida followed by killing of 54 unidentified terrorists mostly along the LoC.

Out of them, six top commanders of Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) were killed in encounters in Kashmir during the period.

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