Wednesday, September 13, 2000,
Chandigarh, India






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Six troops die in attack on camp
Hizb chief rules out ceasefire

SRINAGAR, Sept 12 In the second major strike in more than a month, militants today stormed an Army camp in central Kashmir and fought a fierce gunbattle that left six soldiers, including a Major, and two ultras dead.

Defence sources said Pak-based Lashker-e-Toiba and Jamait-ul-Mujahideen militants forced their way into the Army camp at Beerwah, 20 km from here, at around 2 p.m. and fired indiscriminately, killing four soldiers, including a Major, and wounding five.

The troops succumbed to their injuries later, the sources said.

Two militants, one each belonging to the Lashkar and the Jamait, forming part of the suicidal squad, were killed in the gunbattle, they said.

Two buildings and several residential houses were damaged in the shootout.

On July 31, six soldiers were killed and seven wounded when foreign mercenaries attacked an Army installation at Sunderbani-Bandipora in north Kashmir.

Two AK rifles and some hand grenades were seized from the slain militants.

A Lashkar spokesman telephoned news organisations claiming responsibility for the attack jointly carried out by his outfit and the Jamait-ul-Mujahideen.

The sources said a group of militants fired heavily at the Army camp and two of them later entered the camp.

They took shelter inside the barracks and fired indiscriminately on the troops who returned the fire, they said, adding that both the ultras were killed in the fierce shootout.

Six residential houses nearby were extensively damaged, the sources said.

Meanwhile, a woman was killed while 12 villagers were injured and 23 houses damaged during night-long shelling by Pakistani troops in Uri sector.

Meanwhile, Pakistan-based chief of the Hizbul Mujahideen Syed Salahuddin, has ruled out announcement of another ceasefire but said his outfit was willing to hold dialogue with New Delhi outside the Indian Constitution and was even ready to participate in elections.

He, however, warned that the outfit could extend its activities outside Jammu and Kashmir if India did not agree for holding negotiations outside the framework of the Indian Constitution.
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