Daesh Reportedly Claims it Has Established a "Province" in India
14:20 12.05.2019(updated 15:49 12.05.2019)
This comes after a series of deadly blasts hit Sri Lanka in April, leaving hundreds of people dead and injured. The Daesh* terrorist group claimed responsibility for the wave attacks which rocked the island nation.
The Daesh terrorist group has claimed that it has established a "province" in India, located near the Kashmir region, according to the India Today news outlet.
According to Indian media reports, the "province" has been named "Wilayah of Hind" by the terrorist organisation. The hard-line Islamist group also reportedly claims that it has killed several Indian soldiers in the town of Amshipora in the Shopian district of Kashmir.
A senior police official in Kashmir, commenting on the situation, told Al Jazeera that it was "pure propaganda", adding that "the militancy aspect of Daesh is over in Kashmir completely".
Indian authorities have yet to comment on the situation.
"The establishment of a 'province' in a region where it has nothing resembling actual governance is absurd, but it should not be written off," Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intel Group, which tracks Islamic extremist activity, said as quoted by the South China Morning Post.
In turn, Indian police reported on Friday that a militant called Ishfaq Ahmad Sofi was killed in an encounter in the Shopian district.
Earlier, Daesh reportedly released a video showing its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, claiming responsibility for the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka in late April, in which a series of explosions hit various public gatherings and sites, including churches and hotels, leaving hundreds of people dead and injured.
The Kashmir region has been disputed by India and Pakistan for decades. After gaining independence from British rule in 1947, Kashmir was partitioned between India and Pakistan. Since then, the area has witnessed terror attacks and unrest as some members of the local Muslim majority population seek to gain independence or join Pakistan.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group outlawed in Russia and many other countries.
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