Thursday, August 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

18 hurt in Kashmir grenade blast
2 Hizb men killed in encounter

SRINAGAR, Aug 16 (PTI) — Eighteen persons were injured when a powerful grenade exploded at Bijbehara on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway today, an official spokesman said.

The grenade, hurled by militants, was targeted at a security vehicle at Bijbehara town, 45 km from here, in Anantnag district around noon, he said.

The grenade missed its target and exploded on the busy road wounding 18 pedestrians, he said adding that one of the injured was in a critical condition.

No militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the incident.

Five militants, including two top Hizbul Mujahideen activists, and a village head were among eight persons killed in separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir where the police repulsed a militant attack on a police station since last evening.

Two top Hizb militants were killed in a gun battle with security forces in Kupwara district’s Handwara area, an official spokesman said.

The shootout took place when security forces raided a Hizb hideout last night, he said, adding that the slain militants were identified as Nazir Ahmad Wani, a self-styled district commander, and Mohammad Sadiq Mir, a self-styled battalion commander of the outfit.

A Lashker-e-Toiba militant was killed in a clash between Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashker ultras at Surankote in Poonch district, the spokesman said.

An unidentified militant was killed in a shootout with security forces in Kupwara district’s Karnah sector. Some arms and ammunition were found in his possession.

One more militant was killed in an encounter with security forces at Nanak post near the Line of Control in Baramulla district last evening, the spokesman said.

Militants shot dead village head Abdul Salam Mir and surrendered militant Mohammad Naserullah Lone at Ashpora-Handwara in Kupwara district late last night.

Militants attacked a police station in Kupwara district last night, the spokesman said, adding that the policemen returned the fire forcing the ultras to flee.

The toll in last Thursday’s car bomb blast in Srinagar rose to 14 with one more person succumbing to injuries in hospital here.


Hizb men attack Lashkar hideout

JAMMU, Aug 16 (PTI) — The police today claimed that Hizbul Mujahideen militants attacked a hideout of foreign mercenaries dominated by the Lashkar-e-Toiba killing one LET separatist and wounding another in Niki Mori Dhok village in Surankat on Monday night, indicating a rift in militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir.

Hizbul Mujahideen for the first time joined people of the village in attacking the hideout following beating of Haji Lal Hussain of Mehrot village by LET militants on Monday, police sources here said.

The fierce fighting that took place on the intervening night of August 14 and 15 resulted in the killing of one LET militant and serious injury to another, the sources said adding that the LET militants later fled the hideout along with their injured colleague.

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