Monday, August 14, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

5 jawans die in Udhampur blasts
47 BSF men sustain injuries; Hizb claims responsibility
Tribune News Service and agencies

JAMMU, Aug 13 — Striking in a big way two days after the car bomb blast in Srinagar, Hizbul Mujahideen militants today targeted a BSF convoy, triggering two separate explosions killing five BSF jawans and injuring 47, 15 of them critically, in Udhampur district, 90 km from here.

The IGP, Jammu Zone, Mr R.V. Raju, said militants ambushed a 15-vehicle convoy carrying BSF personnel at the Tamator curve on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, by setting off an improvised explosive device, possibly with the help of a remote control, killing four BSF personnel and injuring 34.

An Indian paramilitary trooper watches residents during a search- and-cordon operation in Srinagar on August 13, 2000. — Reuters

The explosion at 8.30 a.m extensively damaged one of the vehicles of the convoy.

Militants struck again at 4.25 p.m triggering another IED blast when the convoy was held up at a nearby place after the first explosion, killing a security personnel and injuring 13.

Three of the victims have been identified as Nanda Kunthal of Kerala, Ujrahin Linga of Orissa and constable Pandrajan of Maharashtra.

All injured were admitted to the Udhampur hospital where the condition of 15 personnel was described critical.

The Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the first blast. Its spokesman Salim Hashmi said in Islamabad “until India accepts our demand (for inclusion of Pakistan in talks to resolve Kashmir issue), we will intensify our attacks on Indian security forces and military installations.”

Within 48 hours of calling off of the ceasefire by the Hizbul Mujahideen, a powerful car bomb had exploded in Srinagar on August 10, killing 13.

Hashmi told Reuters on the telephone that commander Saleem Javed had led the landmine attack. He claimed that eight securitymen had been killed and 35 wounded, 15 of them seriously.

Senior police officials have reached the site and preliminary investigations are on to determine if similar explosives were used in the two attacks.

A foreign militant of the Al-Badr outfit was killed in a clash with the security forces in the Machil sector of Kupwara district in north Kashmir last night.

The security forces also killed two militants, one each at Magam in Kupwara and Goda-Kaniyal in Kathua last night.

A jawan was killed and two were injured when militants attacked security pickets with explosives and gunfire at Khawajabagh in Baramula and Kahleel-Tral in Pulwama district last evening.

Militants detonated an improvised explosive device at Mathindo-Larnoo in Kokernag area of Anantnag district, injuring a jawan.

Two Pakistani intruders were killed and some wounded by Indian troops when they attempted to raid a forward Indian post in the Balnoi area of Poonch district in Jammu division on Friday night, a defence spokesman said.

The spokesman said Indian troops, on noticing the movement of intruders, illuminated the area and found a group of people attired in black crawling towards the forward post on the intervening night of July 10 and 11.

The troops resorted to heavy firing and killed two intruders and wounded a few, he said, adding the injured managed to escape along with the bodies across the Line of Control (LoC).

However, there was no casualty on Indian side.

Heavy firing with light arms and mortars has been continuing between the two sides in Sunderbani area of Rajouri district since last evening. 

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