File - In this photogaph taken on July 18, 2014, Kashmiri demonstrators hold up a flag of ISIS during a demonstration against Israeli military operations in Gaza, in downtown Srinagar. AFP PHOTO/Tauseef MUSTAFA
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India put several provinces on heightened alert Thursday after Al-Qaeda announced the formation of a wing of the militant group in the country and its neighborhood, a senior government official said.Until now there has been no evidence that Al-Qaeda has a presence in India.Zawahri described the formation of "Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent" as glad tidings for Muslims "in Burma, Bangladesh, Assam, Gujarat, Ahmedabad, and Kashmir" and said the new wing would rescue Muslims there from injustice and oppression.Tensions between Hindus and Muslims on the subcontinent have grown since Pakistan was carved from Muslim-majority areas of India in 1947, a violent partition in which hundreds of thousands were killed.Kashmir, which is claimed by both India and Pakistan, has long attracted foreign mujahedeen fighters as well as home-grown separatist militants.
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