Saturday, May 27, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

15 ultras die in two operations
Tribune News Service and agencies

JAMMU, May 26 At least 15 militants, most of them foreign mercenaries, were killed by the troops in two separate operations in Rajouri and Udhampur areas today.

Official sources said on a tip-off troops encircled Bena village in the Bduhal area of Rajouri district where a group of militants had fortified its positions. As the troops neared the hideout they came under heavy fire from the ultras. The encounter lasted for more than four hours.

After the guns fell silent the troops searched the hideout and all bodies of slain militants were recovered. The operation continued as some militants managed to escape from the area. Large quantities of arms and ammunition were recovered from the hideout.

In another incident, four militants were killed in an exchange of fire with the troops of Loni Draman village near Mohar area of Udhampur district. The troops had received information that a group of militants had been spotted imparting arms training to some youths. The Army swung into action.

One BSF jawan, M.K. Singh, from Manipur, was killed when Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked firing on the Nawapind post in the R.S. Pora sector. The jawan received bullet wounds in his head and later succumbed to his injuries at the local Military Hospital in Jammu.

According to reports, Pakistani agencies have directed the militants, operating in Poonch and Rajouri areas, to kill members of the minority communities to divert the attention of the security forces, especially the jawans of the Romeo Force. This direction, as per the wireless messages, has been sent to reduce the killing of militants. The agencies across the border have been alarmed by increase in the killing of rebels in Poonch and Rajouri as during the past five months more than 266 militants have been eliminated.

Normalcy returned after a two-day strike following a call by Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik in protest against alleged human rights violations. An official spokesman said an encounter took place at Dradpora forest in Kupwara district last night. A jawan lost his life while the militants managed to escape.

Security forces personnel shot dead three militants during an encounter at the Fatehpur Kakaora forests last evening. Three Ak rifles, seven magazines, 110 rounds, four grenades, a grenade launcher and one wireless set were recovered from the slain militants.

Militants barged into the house of Forest Department employee Ghulam Hassan Mir at Dudipora Rajwar and gunned him down.

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