For the first time since 2000, the number of local militants killed in the Valley in 2018 was significantly higher than the number of foreign militants shot dead by security forces.
Of the 246 militants killed in different encounters, 150 were local residents and 90 foreigners, according to official figures available with the J&K Police.
After the terror attack on the CRPF convoy Thursday, the Jaish-e-Mohammad owned up and said a local recruit, Adil Ahmad Dar, had carried out the bombing.
Over the last three years, the total number of militants killed, both local and foreign, climbed from 130 in 2016 to 200 in 2017 and 240 in 2018.
In the first 46 days of 2019, 31 militants have been killed in the Valley.
In 2018, there were 99 operations in the Valley, with 28 civilian casualties. At least 57 of these operations took place in South Kashmir, and civilian deaths were reported in Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam in South Kashmir, police officers said. They attributed the many operations to a sharp spike in the number of local recruits to militant ranks since mid-2015, after a relative drop in militancy-related incidents between 2008 and 2013.
In 2017, 80 local militants were killed, and 120 foreigners. In 2016, 30 local and 100 foreign militants were killed in Kashmir.
A senior J&K police officer told The Indian Express that the lowest number of active militants across Kashmir was in 2013, at 78 militants. At present, the number of active militants is estimated to be around 250.
In mid-2015 when Burhan Wani, a Hizbul Mujahideen commander, propagated militancy through the Internet, 142 militants were active in Kashmir. His killing in July 2016 led to a surge in recruitment of militants.
In April and July 2018, the number of recruits stood at 29 and 30, the highest for the year. The monthly average was around 20, police officers. This decreased to single digit, approximately 5, in January 2019.
In 2018, there was also a rise in the number of militancy-related incidents, up from 170 in 2013 to 208 in 2015 and 587 until December 2018.
According to information provided to Parliament, the Ministry of Home Affairs placed the number of security forces killed between January 1 and the first week of December 2018 at 86, up from 74 the previous year.