Thursday, September 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

10 Pak troops killed
India, Pak exchange fire on LoC
Tribune News Service

SRINAGAR, Sept 20 An Army personnel was killed and five others were injured when Pakistani troops fired from across the border in Jammu and Kashmir yesterday, a Defence Ministry spokesman said.

An Army personnel was killed and three others were injured in the Nowgam sector of Kupwara district.

In the retaliatory fire, the spokesman claimed, at least 10 Pakistani personnel were killed. Intermittent firing was continuing till the last reports came in, the spokesman added.

The Army personnel killed, has been identified as Lt Himmat Singh, while the injured were identified as Nayak Surat Singh, Havildar Mutak Singh and Naik Amar Gurnag.

Giving details of the incident, the spokesman said that a group of Pakistani Army regulars, terrorists and Pakistani commandos attempted to launch an attack on an Indian post in the Nowgam sector on the LoC, taking advantage of bad weather, poor visibility and thick forests.

The attempt was supported by heavy artillery shelling on Indian posts. Indian troops reacted swiftly and beat back the attack with artillery fire.

The spokesman said two civilians, including a woman, were injured when Pakistani troops resorted to heavy shelling and firing in the Akhnoor sector and on the Nowshehra border belt of Rajouri district last night.

More than 1800 mortar shells were fired by Pakistani troops in several villages of Akhnoor and Nowshehra border areas in which several civilian structures were partially damaged. One woman received serious wounds and was admitted to hospital where she was operated upon. Three buffaloes were also killed.

Besides mortar shelling, Pakistani soldiers pounded the border villages.

The Indian troops retaliated and there was an exchange of fire for more than four hours.

State government sources said Pakistani troops had continued intermittent, but heavy shelling and firing simply to carve out infiltration routes for militants. During the last five days more than 30 infiltrators had been killed on this side of border in the Poonch, Akhnoor, R.S. Pora and Samba and large quantities of arms and ammunition have been recovered from the slain militants.

Meanwhile, five persons, including a maulvi crossed over to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) from Mendhar sub-sector of Poonch district last night, official sources said adds UNI.

Maulvi Mohmmad Wazir, his wife and three children left their house in Deri-Dabsi village near the Line of Control (LoC) last night and crossed over to PoK, the sources said. Earlier three families and some militants and their families numbering 24 had migrated to PoK.

So far over 471 people from the border areas have migrated to PoK from Poonch district since January this year, the sources said.

An alert has been sounded in Punjab areas bordering Pakistan to frustrate the ISI design of sending infiltrators, a police official said.

In view of increasing activities of the ISI, special vigil was being maintained along gaps in Ferozepore and Gurdaspur border districts as also along sensitive areas of Jammu and Pathankot.

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