Monday, May 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

2 killed, 9 hurt in Srinagar blast
Tribune News Service

SRINAGAR, May 28 — At least two persons were killed and nine others injured, two of them critically, when a blast rocked a taxi stand near the Tourist Reception Centre here this afternoon while elsewhere in the state 12 militants, including four foreigners and a Pakistani intruder, were among 14 persons killed during the past 24 hours.

Official sources said the blast took place at the taxi stand near heavily guarded Tourist Reception Centre here around 4.55 p.m.

Initial reports said 11 persons, including some taxi drivers, were injured, four of them critically in the powerful blast that shattered the window panes of the heavily guarded TRC and nearby Radio Kashmir Srinagar buildings.

However, doctors in SMHS Hospital, where the injured were admitted, said two persons were brought dead while the condition of two more injured was critical.

More than two dozen senior bureaucrats are staying in the TRC building. The sound of the blast could be heard in the entire Civil Lines area.   

An official spokesman said militants abducted and later killed a released militant Abdul Hamid Tantrey at Achan Pulwama last evening while a girl, Tasleema, was shot dead by militants in her Vailoo Kokernag house.

He said security forces gunned down two militants at Paroti-Gujran and another militant was killed at Galhote-Manjakote during separate encounters.

Troops killed three militants in an encounter at Hill Top last evening while a Pakistani intruder was shot dead immediately after he sneaked across the Gole-Pattan area last night. One AK rifle, one pistol, one IED, two detonators, two grenades, two bombs and 145 rounds were recovered from the slain intruder.

Giving details of yesterday’s encounter at Bahrampora Sopore in north Kashmir, the spokesman said four of the five militants killed were foreigners. Five AK rifles,26 magazines, 800 rounds and two grenade launchers were recovered from the slain militants. He identified the militants as Abu Bilal, Abu Zubair, Abu Zarar and Abu Muzammil (all resident of Pakistan) and Ghulam Hassan Parray.

He said militants abducted one Khurshid Ahmad Haji at Bandipora while a woman Rahmat Bi was injured in a mine blast at Nakarkote last evening.

JAMMU: Four militants were killed at two separate places along the border foiling a major infiltration bid from across the border.

Official sources said group of eight militants equipped with sophisticated weapons tried infiltrate from across the Kanachak area in Jammu on Sunday. The security forces spotted two of them after crossed into the Indian territory. Asked to halt they opened fire. The security forces retaliated killing one on the spot while another was wounded. Six intruders fled back carried their wounded comrade with them.

One assault rifle, two magazines, one IED, two grenades and one pistol were recovered from the slain intruder.

Near Bakar post in R.S. Pora a major tragedy was averted when the security forces spotted an anti-tank mine planted on this side of the border. The security forces immediately defused the mine.

In Suronkot three hardcore militants were killed in an encounter with the security forces last night. Reports said a group of militants was spotted by the security forces entering a hideout. The security forces opened fire after a warning to the militants.


Kidnappers ‘flexible’

JOLO, (Philippines), May 28 (AFP) — Muslim guerrillas holding 10 foreign tourists and 11 others captive are “reasonable and flexible”, the Philippines top negotiator said today, raising hopes that the five-week-old hostage saga may be nearing resolution.

Roberto Aventajado left this southern Philippine island for Manila aboard a jet to consult President Joseph Estrada on the Abu Sayyaf kidnappers’ demands which were put forward in his first formal meeting with them yesterday.

He said the gunmen told him “things can be worked out” on what they would get in exchange for nine Malaysians, a German family of three, a French couple, two Finns, a South African couple, two Filipinos and a Lebanese woman, abducted from the Malaysian resort of Sipadan on April 23.

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