Security agencies have launched an investigation after a photograph showing a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist brandishing a US-made AR-15 M4 rifle in an orchard in Kashmir went viral on social media.
An intelligence officer said prime facie it looked like a “morphed” picture but “we are investigating the matter”.
This is the first time a terrorist in Kashmir has been spotted with an AR-15 M4 rifle, widely used by the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
The militants operating in Kashmir have mostly been using AK assault rifles — both Chinese and Russian made.
A senior police official said there was nothing surprising about a Hizbul terrorist being spotted with a US rifle in the valley as weapons of all kinds are freely available in Pakistan’s FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) region.
“You can buy any rifle there. What is the big deal? We have been taking on the terrorists and we will continue to do so. The change in weaponry hardly matters,” the official said.