SRINAGAR, India – An al-Qaida-linked propaganda network says a militant leader in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir has been appointed to head a new militant group to fight against Indian rule in the disputed region.
The announcement on Thursday was made by the Global Islamic Media Front, which said in a statement that Kashmiri militant Zakir Musa will head al-Qaida-linked Ansar Ghawzat-ul-Hind.
Musa recently left Kashmir's largest indigenous rebel group, Hizbul Mujahideen, and is believed to have been joined by less than a dozen others.
Previously, no global jihadi groups have openly operated in Kashmir, a territory divided between India and Pakistan but claimed by both.
Senior Indian police officer S.P. Vaid said troops will continue to fight militants in Kashmir irrespective of their affiliations.