Friday, August 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

3 Pak troops shot dead
Attack on forward post in Naushehra
Tribune News Service and agencies

JAMMU, Aug 17 — Indian troops foiled a major Pakistani plan to capture a post in Naushehra sector in Rajouri district, killing three Pakistani soldiers.

A Defence Ministry spokesman said here today that a group of Pakistani soldiers intruded into the Indian territory and attempted to capture a forward post in Kalsian area of Naushehra. The Indian soldiers opened fire in which three Pakistani soldiers were killed. The Pakistani troops resorted to heavy mortar shelling to extricate the bodies.

After the guns fell silent, search operations led to the recovery of the body of a Pakistani soldier. Large quantities of arms and ammunition were recovered from the site.

Two bodies were dragged to the other side of the Line of Control (LoC) by the Pakistani troops. A rocket launcher, an assault rifle with a grenade launcher, grenades and a belt of machinegun ammunition were recovered from the slain soldier.

A spokesman said five members of a family, including an 84-year-old man, were forcibly taken to the other side of the LoC by militants on Monday night near Dehari village in Poonch district, 256 km north of Jammu. But local officials said the family had left of its own accord following intense search operations and mounting pressure in the area by the security forces.

Over 300 persons have migrated from villages along the LoC in Poonch area in the recent weeks.

Defence officials, however, accuse Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) of luring the people in these areas across the border to act as guides to militants for heavy payments.

However, a PTI report said five villagers, including a woman and two children, had been abducted by foreign mercenaries from the border village and taken to occupied Kashmir (PoK).

It quoted village Sarpanch Mohammad Yusuf saying eight foreign mercenaries in combat uniform and wearing black ‘patkas’ came to the village on the intervening night of August 13-14 and threatened the people to leave the village and move to Pakistan.

The militants outraged the modesty of women folk and beat men and children mercilessly who refused to obey.

They then abducted family members of a house, located 50 metres from the LoC, and took them to Pakistan, the spokesman said.

They have been identified as Shakil Hussain Shah, Mumtaj Ahmed, Salima Begum and her two children — Basharat Hussain and Rafti Naz.

Six Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, including an officer, were injured when militants set off an improvised explosive device (IED) in Anantnag district of south Kashmir last evening.

The BSF party, led by Assistant Commandant Surinder, was on its way to Magam when the IED detonated on a link road at Wangam in Kokernag area, injuring Surinder and two jawans, official sources said.

The injured jawans have been admitted to the Army base hospital in Srinagar. The area was immediately cordoned off and a search operation carried out.

At least two security jawans died on the spot and two were injured when militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen detonated a powerful improvised explosive device at Buzla Kawas in Ramsu area last evening.

Militants attacked a police post at Banihal with a rocket causing partial damage to the building last night.

According to official sources, the militants fired a rocket on the Banihal police post situated on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway, 175 km from here, at around 0100 hours.

The police deployed at the post retaliated, pushing the militants from the area. Nobody was injured.

Mine blasts in the border belts of Rajouri and Poonch districts have rendered about 15 per cent of the population in the area crippled.

Teenagers are mostly the victims of the mine war strategy of the militants. Sometimes they get caught in areas where the Army has laid mines to check infiltration from across the border.

According to the Chief Medical Officer of Poonch, Dr Subhash Raina, injuries to people in blasts and firing have become a regular feature and three to five injured are brought to the district hospital daily.

The latest victims were two brothers aged 13 and 14 from Shahpur area who lost their legs in mine blasts by militants. The duo were on their way to collect firewood from a forest area when the blast occurred, one of the victims told visiting mediamen. 


2 Hizb men surrender at Rajouri
Tribune News Service

JAMMU, Aug 17 — The Hizbul Mujahideen received a setback when two of its top activists surrendered before security forces at Rajouri today.

Their surrender had been worked out by the BSF in collaboration with the Romeo Force, Mohammad Shabir and Mohammad Arif, both hailing from Rajouri, surrendered with their weapons before Maj- General Richard Khare.

Both Shabir and Arif had been picked while they were school boys for arms training across the border. Mohammad Shabir was imparted arms training for one year later sent to Kabul where he underwent training in handling of sophisticated weapons.

After crossing back to Rajouri he was installed as a battalion commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen.

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