In a latest video address, a young masked man who identifies himself as Hamza Burhan – the Divisional Commander of Al Badr militant outfit in South Kashmir, has apologized for civilian injuries in recent grenade attacks and called for grand revival of the outfit. The authenticity of the video or the identity of the speaker has not been verified yet.
He adds that civilians are requested not to go in the vicinity of the forces as there will be more grenade attacks on police, paramilitary and other forces. The group also takes responsibility for the grenade attack on CRPF personnel in Tahab village of Pulwama district on Monday in which three civilians and four CRPF personnel were injured.
The outfit has claimed that it will recruit more boys and the current “strength is close to 100 boys. “In some weeks we will get around 200 more boys, as you see we already have brought more,” he adds.
In recent weeks, the group has found a new life in the Valley, with several youth joining the outfit. At least four youth from South Kashmir -Tawseef Ahmad wani, Sameer Ahmad Seh, Nawaz Ahmad Wagay and Aijaz Ahmad Paul, recently joined the group and announced it by posting their gun wielding pictures on social media.
As the video continues, the speaker says that there will be more attacks on police, STF, and political workers. “We are giving last warning to Kashmir police – we have only one message for them, if you move back then fine or else wait for the consequences.”
“The aim of sending this video message is to claim responsibility for the attack and also tell people stay away from places where there is CRPF, army, police, or political workers,” the speaker adds. “We are apologizing for the injuries to civilians in the attack. We will continue attacks on forces. To those police officials who vandalize houses of militants, we are warning when we don’t go to your house then you shouldn’t also. Else the consequences will harsh.”
Al Badr outfit was launched in 1998 to fight against Indian forces in Kashmir but was relatively non-functional for some time. On 6 January 2017, Muzaffar Ahmad Naikoo alias Muzz Molvi of North Kashmir’s Sopore district was killed, which led the police to declare that Molvi was the last surviving member of Al Badr. Before forming a separate group, its members have fought in Afghanistan.