15:43 GMT18 May 2021
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    According to data provided by Jammu and Kashmir police, a total of 221 terrorists, including more than 40 top commanders heading Pakistan-based terror outfits, were killed in more than 100 encounters with India's joint teams of security forces in 2020.

    Terrorists are misusing mosques for carrying out attacks in India's Jammu and Kashmir, the union territory's Inspector General of Police (IGP), Vijay Kumar, said on Monday.

    Speaking to Sputnik, Kumar revealed that terrorists are taking shelter in mosques and then misusing them to attack the security personnel.

    "The shelter inside the mosques gives them a sense of security of not getting caught. I appeal to the public, mosque presidium, civil societies and media to condemn such acts," he said.

    The comments from Kumar came days after five terrorists, who took refuge in a mosque in Shopian, were gunned down in an overnight encounter by security forces. The shootout in the apple town of Shopian broke out on Thursday evening in which four security forces personnel were also injured.

    Last year, on 19 June, three terrorists were killed after entering the Jamia mosque to take refuge in the town of Pampore. Later, on 1 July, a security personnel and a civilian died while three personnel sustained injuries after terrorists fired on a Paramilitary Force (CRPF) party from a mosque in Sopore town in Baramulla district.

    Kumar also addressed the matter of Kashmiri youth, who are getting radicalised and joining terrorists in the valley.

    "We request the parents of the newly-recruited terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir to make continuous appeals to their children to leave the path of violence. We don't want parents to be making appeals to their children (who have joined terrorists groups) when they are trapped in an encounter."

    Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Police along with the security forces are cracking down on terrorists in the valley. Over the last several months, security forces have been carrying out cordon and search operation to eliminate terrorists.


    Security Forces, Militants Exchange Gunfire in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian District
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    Indian Forces Gun Down Three Militants, Including a 'New Recruit', in Encounter in Jammu and Kashmir
    encounter, attacks, Jammu and Kashmir, police, security forces, terrorists, Pakistan, mosque, India
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