Monday, February 28, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

7 Indian soldiers killed in shelling
Blasts claim 3 BSF men’s lives
Tribune News Service and agency

JAMMU, Feb 27 — At least seven Indian soldiers were killed and another was missing when Pakistani troops raided a forward post on the Line of Control (LoC) in the Nowshera sector of Rajouri district early this morning, a defence spokesman said.

He said the post in Caam area surrounded by Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) on three sides was attacked by Pakistani troops at around 4.30 a.m. today. Six Army Jawans, and an officer, were killed while defending the post. Another soldier, who is missing, was believed to be dead and his body was dragged by Pakistani soldiers on to their side of the LoC, he said.

He said Pakistani troops also suffered heavy casualties and fled carrying bodies of their soldiers leaving behind a large cache of arms and ammunition.

The spokesman said Pakistan has been trying to escalate the situation especially on the LoC, despite restraint showed by the Indian troops. This is the third major flare-up in the area in recent weeks. Last month 18 Pakistani soldiers were killed when they tried to capture an Indian border post in Palanwala in the Akhnoor sector which is adjacent to Nowshera.

Earlier this month, five Pakistani soldiers and four Indian jawans were killed when the troops foiled another enemy bid to capture a border post in the Akhnoor sector.

Meanwhile, three security personnel were killed and six injured in landmine blasts in the Kashmir valley while three porters working for the BSF were missing after a snowstorm in Machil sector last evening.

The BSF Deputy Inspector-General, Mr B.N. Kabu, said two BSF jawans were killed on the spot and three others were seriously injured when their vehicle was blown up by militants using a powerful IED at Khanpeth Pattan village in north Kashmir. The BSF personnel were going to their camp when the blast occurred.

Earlier in the day, one soldier was killed and three others were wounded in a landmine blast at Soaf-Shali village under Doru police station in the south Kashmir district of Anantnag.

Militants had planted the landmine on the Haratrath-Sumbal link road near Khanpeth Pattan and detonated it when the BSF vehicle on way to the Harnoor company headquarters from Srinagar ran over it. The blast damaged the vehicle killing head constable Raja Ram and constable B.K. Gosh on the spot.

Three other jawans travelling in the vehicle were seriously injured and were undergoing treatment in a hospital. The injured jawans were identified as constable Raj Kumar, lance naik Ram Avtar and constable Sunil Kumar.

An official spokesman said militants lobbed a powerful grenade inside the house of NC block president Abdul Gani Lone at Kulgam in Anantnag district late last night.

The grenade missed the target and exploded in the compound shattering the windowpanes of Mr Lone’s house. Mr Lone and his family members escaped unhurt in the attack, he said.

A special police officer (SPO) was killed in a militant ambush at Dhoke in the Thana Mandi sector of Rajouri district.

Security forces gunned down an unidentified militant during search operations at Nowshera in the same district last night.

Security personnel raided a militant hideout at Chingas and recovered an improvised explosive device which was neutralised.

The body of a person identified as Abdul Gani Ganai was recovered from Largidoora in Qazigund area of Anantnag district. The victim was abducted and later killed by the militants.

Militants shot at and injured a girl in her house at Akhal in Anantnag district after she refused to divulge whereabouts of her brother who is an active member of the Ikhwan outfit.

A cable operator, Mushtaq Ahmad Kakroo, escaped unhurt when militants exploded a grenade outside his house at Kanlibagh in Baramula district last night.

Militants exploded a powerful bomb at Kahleel in Pulwama district today, but it caused no casualty.

Six porters on their way to a BSF picket in the forward area of the Machil sector were caught in a snow storm early yesterday. Three of them were rescued in an injured condition while a search was on for the other three buried under an avalanche.

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