Sunday, June 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Major, SPOs among 17 killed
Blast near shrine, 2 hurt

SRINAGAR, June 17 (PTI, UNI) ó Nine militants were killed and 11 captured in separate encounters with security forces while two devotees were injured when militants exploded a grenade outside a shrine in Jammu and Kashmir since last evening, an official spokesman said here today.

Militants hurled a grenade at a security picket outside Ziarat Inayatullah Saheb at Thamkote-Kapran in Anantnag district in South Kashmir last evening. The grenade exploded outside the shrine injuring two devotees, the spokesman said.

Security forces shot dead three Pakistani intruders at border outpost at S. M. Pora in Ramgarh sector of Jammu region last night.

Three unidentified militants were killed by the security forces during separate operations at Sundri-Nallah and Shahpur in Poonch district today.

Security forces shot dead two militants during combing operations at Hyhama in Kupwara district last night. An AK assault rifle, a sniper rifle and a damaged wireless set were seized from them.

Shelling from across the border was reported from Nowgam sector of the frontier district of Kupwara in north Kashmir, an official spokesman said.

He said a jawan was wounded in the Pakistani shelling. Indian troops fired back and intermittent shelling was continuing when last reports were received.

Security forces shot dead a foreign mercenary in an encounter at Gratbal near Safapora on the outskirts of Srinagar in the wee hours today.

Two accomplices of the slain militant escaped under the cover of darkness while a universal machine gun, a wireless set and some incriminating documents were recovered from the dead militantís possession.

JAMMU: An Army Major, seven infiltrators and two special police officers (SPOs) were among 17 persons killed in militancy-related incidents across the Jammu region during the past 24 hours.

A Defence Ministry spokesman said troops from 8 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) Battalion conducted a massive search operation at Shahpur village in the frontier district of Poonch in the early hours of Saturday following a tip-off.

As the operation was in progress, militants fired at the party with automatic weapons, which resulted in an encounter as the troops retaliated.

During the two-hour-long gun fight, six militants, suspected to be foreigners, were killed while Maj S. Tathawade also lost his life. The spokesman said five AK 56 rifles and some ammunition were also recovered from the encounter site.

Troops killed four Pakistani infiltrators during three different infiltration bids across the Poonch sector since Friday evening. Some arms and ammunition were also recovered.

Border Security Force (BSF) personnel shot dead three Pakistani infiltrators immediately after they sneaked into the Indian side from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir in the Samba sector late on Friday night.

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