Saturday, September 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Bid on ex-minister’s life
Three PSOs killed in blast

Tribune News Service

SRINAGAR, Sept 1 — Former Jammu and Kashmir minister and Shia leader Maulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari was injured while his three personal security officers (PSOs) were killed in a mine blast at Sangrama on the Srinagar-Baramula road this evening.

Official sources said militants detonated a powerful improvised explosive device planted beneath Bailey bridge near Sangrama when Mr Ansari’s motorcade was passing the area.

He said a security vehicle was blown up, resulting in the instantaneous death of the three PSOs.

Sources said Mr Ansari, who received splinter injuries, was admitted to S.K. Medical Institute at Soura.

Senior police and civil officers have rushed to the spot, sources said, and adding that a massive hunt had been launched to nab the militants responsible for the blast.

This was the second attack on Mr Ansari since he resigned from the state Cabinet last year. Earlier this year, the former minister was injured and 15 others were killed in a mine blast at Magam during a majlis (religious function).

A transmission tower of the 33,000 KV transmission line was damaged in an explosion at Qazigund in Anantnag this morning. However, there was no disruption in the power supply due to the explosion, the police here said.

Giving details of the incident, the police said an IED blast took place in a transmission tower at Nipora, Mirbazar in Anantnag this morning, causing damage to the tower. While inspecting the spot, the police spotted another IED planted, which was later neutralised by the bomb disposal squad. Militants had caused heavy damage to another transmission tower on the line near Mirbazar in December last year, disrupting power supply to the valley from the northern grid for over two months.

Three Border Security Force (BSF) personnel were killed in Pakistani shelling along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said here today.

They said Sub-Inspector Hans Raj died instantly and Assistant Sub-Inspector S.K. Sinha was grievously injured when the Pakistani troops targeted a BSF post in Nowgam sector of north Kashmir last night. Sinha succumbed to his wounds in hospital.

The sources said the Pakistani troops also suffered casualties in the retaliatory action by the Indian security forces but the exact number was not known immediately, the sources said.

In the militancy related incidents, at least three persons, including two militants, were killed in separate incidents in Srinagar and Anantnag districts since yesterday.

Two foreign militants were killed in an encounter with the security forces at Lawaypora on the outskirts of Srinagar city today. The police here said the security forces cordoned off the village to conduct search operations on receipt of specific information. The hiding militants opened fire on the search party. Two foreign militants were killed in the encounter. Two AK rifles and eight magazines with 500 rounds were seized. Till the last reports came in the search operations were continuing.

Unidentified militants shot dead Nazir Ahmad Sheikh at Halwan, Verinag in Anantnag district. He is reported to have been a surrendered militant.

JAMMU: One BSF jawan, Ishwar Hari from Tripura, was killed and another wounded when the Pakistani troops resorted to heavy firing on Mangu Chak border village in Samba sector early on Friday morning.

Official reports said the Pakistani troops used MMGs and LMGs to pound the border village and the BSF post. Ishwar Hari who was on duty received a hit in his eye and died on the spot and another BSF jawan was wounded.

The BSF immediately opened fire which resulted in partial damage to a couple of Pakistani bunkers.

Elsewhere, the Pakistani troops launched a rocket attack on the police and Army camp in the Surankot area of Poonch sector last night. There was no casualty on this side because the rockets missed the targets.

Defence Ministry sources said during the past five days the Pakistani troops have resorted to heavy mortar shelling in Akhnoor sector and MMG and LMG firing in Poonch and Rajouri border areas. There was no casualty on this side of the border.

The sources said the Indian troops retaliated effectively and silenced the Pakistani guns for the time being. They alleged the Pakistani troops were trying to escalate border conflict so that the Kashmir issue was further internationalised.

The Indian troops had been directed to take all possible steps to foil the Pakistani gameplan of capturing any Indian post or intruding into the India territory or sending groups of militants under cover of fire. They said this was the reason that Pakistani troops fired on an average 20,000 rounds from MMG and LMG from across Poonch and Rajouri to carve out infiltration route for the militants.


UK to supply ‘only select’ arms to Pak
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Sept 1 — The United Kingdom will not supply arms to Pakistan which can either be used for “external aggression” or “internal suppression”, the British High Commissioner, Mr Rob Young said here today.

Briefing newspersons about the six-day visit of the British Home Secretary, Mr Jack Straw, to India from September 4, Mr Young said in reply to a question that the majority of applications for arms supply to Islamabad were rejected and only few applications for the supply to naval, radar and de-mining equipment were approved.

To a question whether the British Home Secretary (Home Minister) would take up the early release of Peter Bleach — the accused in the Purulia arms dropping case — with the Indian authorities, the High Commissioner said the visiting minister “will seek that the judicial process was disposed as quickly as possible”.

Bleach has sought pardon following the release of five Lativians involved in the arms drop case. The issue would come up during Mr Straw’s talks with the Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani.

Talking about the visit, the High Commissioner said Mr Straw, during his talks with his counterpart would discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations, including ways to strengthen them. Issues of international terrorism, drugs and arms trafficking and other bilateral matters would also figure in the talks.Back

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