Wednesday, August 23, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Oil depot damaged in Pak shelling
16 militants shot in encounters

BARAMULA, Aug 22 (UNI PTI) — An oil depot and a bunker were damaged in artillery and mortar shelling by Pakistani troops from across the border in the northern sector of Jammu and Kashmir early today.

Official sources said Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked shellling this morning targeting civilian areas and security installations in the Nowgam sector.

Some of the shells landed at Bahar Ground damaging an oil depot and a bunker.

Indian troops retaliated but casualties suffered by the Pakistanis were not immediately known.

At least six persons were injured and more than 20 houses damaged when Pak troops fired mortars and artillery shells from across the border in the Keran, Karnah, Uri and Teetwal sectors on Sunday and Monday.

People living near the Line of Actual Control in Karnah took to the streets and observed a ‘hartal’ yesterday demanding a construction of underground bunkers so that they could take shelter in case of Pakistani shelling.

The security forces have cordoned off a vast area of Handwara in Kupwara district to nab militants responsible for yesterday’s mine blast that claimed the lives of a Brigadier and a Colonel at Rajrwara.

Pakistan-based militant outfits Hizb-ul Mujahideen and Al Badr today separately claimed the responsibility for yesterday’s attack.

Al Badr in a statement in Islamabad said the attack was led by one ‘commander’ Azzam while the Hizbul described the operation as “successful”.

A spokesman for the Hizbul also telephoned various news organisations in Srinagar owning the responsibility for the rocket attack on an army transit camp at Banihal.

Meanwhile, 18 persons including 16 militants and a jawan, were killed as the security forces stepped up anti-militant operations in Kashmir since last evening.

Five unidentified militants were killed in a joint operation by the BSF and the Army against militants in Razdan forest in the Bandipora area of Baramula district today, the BSF said.

A big cache of arms and ammunition, including four AK assault rifles and a grenade launcher were seized from the slain ultras.

In a two-day operation in the Kanzalwan sector of north Kashmir, which ended yesterday, five more unidentified militants were killed, an Army spokesman said, adding some arms and ammunition were seized from them.

The police said the security forces killed four militants at Bagtoore-Gurez in the Baramula sector last evening. A jawan was also killed during the two-day operation. Some arms and ammunition were seized.

Troops killed a Lashker-e-Toiba militant and recovered some arms and ammunition after a gunfight at Kumar Mohalla in the Safapora area of Srinagar, the spokesman said.

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