American-made M4 carbine assault rifles frequently used in recent J&K terror attacks; experts call it ‘alarming’ | India News

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NEW DELHI: Terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir have been found using American-made M4 carbine assault rifles, particularly during the latest attacks in Kathua. Experts told PTI that they find this trend “alarming” as the weapons left behind by the US Army after their withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 appear to have reached the extremists through Pakistani handlers.
The M4 carbine rifles, designed and developed in the 1980s, have been extensively used by Nato and reportedly by several militaries, including Pakistani special forces and the Special Security Unit of the Sindh Police.These rifles have been employed in numerous conflicts worldwide, such as the Syrian civil war, Iraqi civil war, Yemeni civil war, Colombian conflict, Kosovo war, and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars following 9/11. The increased maneuverability of the M4 carbine makes it a favored choice among military forces.
According to experts, the frequent use of these assault rifles by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir is a result of the US Army leaving behind arms and ammunition during their withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. The use of steel bullets in these weapons, which are more lethal, is a cause for concern.
Lieutenant General Sanjay Kulkarni, a defense expert who served in Jammu and Kashmir during his tenure in the Indian Army, believes that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been assisting terrorists with sophisticated weapons like M4 carbine rifles to further their malicious intentions in the region.
The first instance of an M4 carbine rifle being recovered in Jammu and Kashmir was reported on November 7, 2017, when Talha Rasheed Masood, a nephew of Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar, was killed in a gunfight in Pulwama district. Since then, the weapon has been recovered multiple times, including during encounters with other high-profile terrorists. Shesh Paul Vaid, former Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police, noted that the frequent use of M4 carbine rifles by terrorists in the region was not prevalent during his tenure from December 2016 to September 2018.
In recent months, the M4 carbine has reportedly been used in all major attacks in the Jammu region, including the Kathua attack on July 8, the Reasi attack on June 9, and the Poonch terror attack last December. While acknowledging that sophisticated weapons like the M4 carbine increase the probability of casualties, Vaid expressed hope that security forces will effectively deal with the challenge and adapt to face situations where the enemy is equipped with such advanced weaponry.

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