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'Militants using Pakistani SIM cards in Kashmir'

Aug 03, 2006:

Militants are using a new communication network along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, mostly in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri, Defence sources suggest.

Sources say militants have started using Pakistani SIM cards for their communications on this side of the Line of Control.

Highly places sources on condition of anonymity added that the mobile phones towers of Pakistan's 'Mobilink' communication network agency across the LoC have been shifted closer to the LoC.

"Besides the height and wattage of towers have been increased, facilitating the use of Pakistani mobile networks upto 15 to 20 kilometers inside the line of control on this side". They said.

A total of 15 Pakistani SIM cards with equal number of mobile phones have been recovered from the possession of slain militants from different parts of Rajouri and Poonch recently, Defence sources revealed.

Indian mobile operators like the state owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited or the private operator Airtel, monitor the cell networks for terrorist activities.

Security forces have nabbed some suspected militants in the past in Jammu and Kashmir by tracking their cell phone conversations.

Use of Pakistani mobile networks by militants is worrying defence and intelligence officials as they admit that monitoring and tracking conversations on Pakistani mobile networks would not be possible.

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