Anwer Bhatkal, the Indian reportedly killed in fighting in Afghanistan last week, died outside the Chowlai border post in Kandahar’s remote Sohrabak district, intelligence sources in Kabul have told The Indian Express.
Fifteen insurgents and an Afghan police officer were reported killed in the attack, which was mounted from a base across the border with Pakistan, the sources said.
Kandahar police chief Rahmatullah Atrafi told The Indian Express that about 70 insurgents launched the attack on Chowlai post just before midnight on Thursday, with fighting continuing into the early hours of Friday, July 18 — the date of Bhatkal’s death, according to terrorist group Ansar ul-Tawhid ul-Hind. Atrafi claimed the attackers included ethnic Punjabis, Burmese and Chechens.
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“They were speaking in Urdu and Punjabi on their wireless sets,” said the police officer.
If Ansar ul-Tawhid ul-Hind’s claim is true, Bhatkal is the first among several Indians known to be training with insurgent groups in Afghanistan to die.
The Afghanistan government claims thousands of insurgents are housed in camps in Pakistan across the border, training with organisations like the Lashkar-e-Toiba. The government claims the camps operate with the support of Pakistan’s ISI, an allegation Islamabad denies.