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Indian forces seize weapons cache full of Chinese ammo in Kashmir – report

Indian forces seize weapons cache full of Chinese ammo in Kashmir – report
Indian forces have retrieved a sizeable stockpile of weapons and ammunition – all bearing Chinese markings – in Kashmir, where there has been a recent spike in terrorist attacks involving frag grenades, local media report.

Some 70 Chinese-made grenades have been seized by Indian security forces in the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir since January last year, according to the Hindustan Times, citing an internal government report. The publication comes after a string of fresh terrorist acts hit the Indian part of Kashmir.

“These attacks had a mix of both grenades made in China and Pakistan, but there is a sudden spurt in the use of Chinese ones,” said an unnamed officer from a police counterterrorism team who was quoted by the paper. Frag grenades are easier to carry, and they cause much more damage if thrown from a distance, he explained.

The seizures also included pistols, armor-piercing incendiary shells, and tracer rounds of Chinese origin. The armor-piercing ammunition can penetrate bulletproof vests worn by Indian troops and its use “brings a new dimension of threat for the security forces,” the document warned.

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The newspaper widely quoted police officials who maintained that the main purpose of using Chinese-made ammunition is that Pakistan, which India blames for aiding Kashmir militants, “doesn’t want any weapons used in Jammu and Kashmir to be traced back to it.”

Separately, an unnamed intelligence officer suggested that the Chinese-made ammunition might have been smuggled across the Line of Control, which is a heavily militarized frontier dividing the Pakistani and Indian parts of Kashmir. However, none of those sources gave any credible proof of such claims.

If true, the revelation could hit a nerve in India, which is highly sensitive to any issues related to the contested area of Kashmir. India has long been at odds with China over its support for arch-rival Pakistan, where close ties with Beijing are seen as a counterweight to New Delhi.

READ MORE: Pakistan claims no terror camps or detainee connections to Pulwama attack

China has been a steady source of military equipment for the Pakistani Army for decades. Just recently, Pakistan’s military deployed Chinese-made air defense systems and radars to cover airspace over the Indian border. Notably, Chinese fighter jets were flown by the Pakistan Air Force during a deadly clash over Kashmir in February, according to Indian reports.

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