A mosque was being used as a cover for the Balakot training camp of Jaish-e-Mohammad, sources said a day after the facility was destroyed in a “non-military” strike by the Indian Air Force (IAF). The facilities at the camp were spread over an area of 6 acres and comprised 5-6 buildings with a capacity to accommodate more than 600 people, they added.
According to intelligence reports, the camp was used for radicalisation by showing propaganda videos on the IC 814 hijacking and the 2002 Godhra riots, officials said. Read in Malayalam
They added that after training, the militants were sent to Jammu and Kashmir, primarily through four routes. They have been identified as Balakot-Kel-Dudhniyal, Kel-Kainthawali, Kel-Lolab district and Kel-Kachama Kralpora, an official said. All the routes led to Kupwara, the reports stated, according to an official.
According to intelligence reports, the camp was used to impart training to militants in different types of courses like a three-month advanced combat course known as Daura-e-Khas, an advanced armed training course called Daum-al-Raad and a “refresher training programme,” an official said.
“Militants there are being trained in handling weapons like AK 47, machine guns, LMG, rocket launcher, under barrel grenade launcher and grenades. Apart from basic training in weapon handling, they are also being trained in jungle survival, ambush and communication using GPS and map reading etc,” an intelligence report said. Officials said that before the inception of JeM, the camp was used by Hizbul Mujahideen.
The intelligence note said the militants at the camp started their day at 3 am with the recitation of Quran followed by exercise. Later, they were imparted arms training and lessons on how to camouflage, ambush and escape, the note said. The number of militants receiving training at this camp was estimated to be between 200-300 any time of the year, it said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines