Security agencies enter ‘Tora Bora’: A recent encounter in which four Jaish-e-Mohammed militants were killed in Budgam’s Pakharpora area is being seen as the security forces’ maiden entry into an area popularly known as ‘Tora Bora’ because of the heavy presence of foreign militants there, officials here said. The militants are often hiding in the area’s deep forests, a maze not very different from the labyrinth of caves of Taliban-controlled Tora Bora in northern Afghanistan, they said. Four terrorists were killed in the first operation carried out by the The Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir police and Army. Militants have been particularly active over the last year in Pakharpora, located strategically in the district of Budgam, for it leads into South Kashmir as well as Srinagar city.The Valley’s ‘Tora Bora’ had figured prominently in many meetings of security agencies after the area, 45km from here, became the infiltration route for militants entering South Kashmir, the epicenter of unrest following the killing of Burhan Wani, the poster boy of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group, July 8 last year. An official said the region has become the “reception area” for foreign militants who sneak into South Kashmir via Pakharpora. The dense forests and deep gorges in the region provide a natural cover to the militants.
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