Tuesday, August 1, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

6 Army men killed in attack
Tribune News Service

SRINAGAR, July 31 — At least six Army men were killed and seven others were critically injured when a heavily armed group of foreign militants attacked an army installation at Sonarwani in Bandipore last night.

The militants attacked the Army installation with rockets and rifle grenades last night, police sources confirmed. They said a large group of militants fired rockets from a nearby location causing death of six persons on the spot and injuries to seven others. Those injured were airlifted here early this morning. The encounter that ensued continued for over two hours, the police said. However, the militants escaped. The Army and the security forces had cordoned off the area to flush out the hiding militants.

This is for the first time that such an attack was carried out at an Army installation after the Hizb-ul- Mujahideen, announced a unilateral ceasefire here on July 24. The Army, following the Central Government’s offer of talks to Hizb-ul- Mujahideen, had also suspended its operations against the Hizbul militants since Saturday last. However, its operations against other militant organisations, which had not decided on ceasefire, were continuing.

This is the first attack after a series of such attacks on Army, the security forces and police installation since November 3 last year. The first such attack was made at the Badami Bagh cantonment where the headquarters of 15 Corps is located. At least 10 persons, including the Defence PRO, Major P. Purushottam were killed.

In other militancy related incidents, three militants were killed two policemen on patrol duty were injured in a shootout in M.R. Bazar here today. Two security personnel and three pedestrians were injured in a grenade attack near Khanyar Police Station this morning.

Two unidentified militants were killed in an encounter with the security forces at Hajibal, Bagtor in the Gurez sector of Baramula district yesterday. One AK rifle, a magazine, six hand grenades and 94 round of ammunition were recovered from the site of the encounter, a police spokesman said. Another militant was killed in an encounter with the security forces at Malagan in Baramula district. One AK rifle and a magazine were recovered from the site of the encounter.


Include Pandits in talks: Panun
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, July 31 — Panun Kashmir, a frontline group of Kashmiri Pandits, has demanded association of the community in any dialogue between the Centre and separatist organisations of Kashmir.

It said that the community’s participation in talks was essential to ascertain their views as they too were part of the valley.

Welcoming the proposed talks, Panun Kashmir leaders cautioned against bargaining away the interests of the minorities while seeking a solution to the Kashmir issue.

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