Wednesday, January 26, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Fidayeen storm Army camp
7 infiltrators shot in Rajouri
Tribune News Service and agencies

SRINAGAR, Jan 25 — Fidayeen of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen stormed an Army transit camp at Toto Ground, Batmaloo, in Srinagar last night.

Two members of the suicide squad and as many Army personnel were killed and six soldiers injured in the fierce clash within the camp.

A spokesman for the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen told a local news agency over the telephone that five members of a Fidayeen group entered the camp and attacked Army personnel with grenades and automatic weapons.

He claimed that more than 10 soldiers were killed and four buildings inside the camp destroyed during the assault.

A Defence Ministry spokesman said the militants fired rockets and grenades followed by firing on the army camp in Batmaloo, near the general bus stand, at around 9.30 p.m.

Taking advantage of the attack, two members of the suicide squad rushed towards the camp while firing from their automatic weapons. However, the guards posted around the camp returned the fire. The two were killed after an hour-long gun battle.

The troops lost two men while six others sustained injuries due to firing and rocket explosions. He said the rockets were fired from a nearby locality to give cover to the militants to enter the camp.

This is the 10th storming of the security camps in the state in the past several months, including the storming of the Special Operation Group head quarters in Srinagar, Defence Ministry’s PR office in Badami Bagh cantonment and Army head quarters in Seronkot and Safapora.

Security around vital installations, force camps and important buildings has been tightened further in view of last night’s attack.

The security forces in strength have taken up positions on both sides of the road leading to Civil Lines and uptown areas to thwart any militant attack on the VVIPs through these routes.

Almost all shops in the areas adjacent to Bakshi Stadium, where the Republic Day function will be held tomorrow, are closed as shopkeepers fear trouble. However, about 10 per cent shops are open in the Civil Lines area.

JAMMU: The Army on Thursday foiled a major infiltration bid in the Mandi area of the Rajouri sector and killed seven of them today, a top Army official said here.

A large group of armed infiltrators crossed over to the Indian side near Pindi border outpost (BOP) in the Mandi sub-sector of Rajouri in the wee hours, Major-Gen P.P.S. Bindra said on the telephone from Udhampur.

Soon after entering into Indian territory, alert Doda Brigade troops challenged them to surrender but the ultras resorted to firing on the troops leading to an encounter in which seven infiltrators were killed on the spot, he said.

However, rest of the infiltrators escaped, he said adding search was being carried out in the area to trace arms and ammunition. The seven bodies had been recovered along with weapons, General Bindra said.

Meanwhile, the police foiled a major bid by Pak-sponsored militants to trigger explosions on the eve of Republic Day in border areas of Jammu and seized a large quantity of explosives.

Two bags, containing a large number of explosives and dumped under some bushes were recovered during routine checks of a forest area near Pallanwala border in Akhnoor, the police said.

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