Tuesday, October 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

5 Pak soldiers shot, attack repulsed
Tribune News Service
and agencies

SRINAGAR, Oct 16 — At least five Pakistanis were shot and one Indian soldier was killed in a gunbattle in the northern sector of Jammu and Kashmir, an Army spokesman said today, even as a report from Jammu said that 10 civilian houses were damaged, two persons were injured and more than 10 cows wounded when Pakistani troops pounded four villages in Rajouri today.

Troops repulsed an attack on a forward post in Uri sector, but one soldier was killed and another injured, he said. The attack was carried out by a group of Pakistani soldiers, under the cover of heavy artillery and mortar fire, last afternoon.

“The spokesman said the alert troops fired at the Pakistanis, inflicting four or five casualties.

“The enemy troops fled to their side carrying their dead and injured soldiers.” Four houses were also damaged in the shelling in Uri sector, causing panic and forcing shopkeepers to pull up the shutters.

In Bhawani and Noushera sectors, Pakistani troops fired 50 to 55 mortar shells till this morning to which the Indian troops effectively retaliated.

Reports from the LoC in Jammu division said heavy firing continued between two sides in Poonch, Sunderbani and Pallanwalla sectors. Intermittent exchange of firing between Border Security Force and Pakistani Rangers occurred at 12 places in Samba and RS Pora sectors since last evening.

In north Kashmir, a major tragedy was averted today with the timely detection of an IED planted by militants on the national highway at Hanjiveera-Pattan in Baramula district.

Six militants also laid down their arms and several militants’ hideouts were smashed in the state, where gunmen kidnapped two persons.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has decided to construct 1000 community and household bunkers in Uri and Gurez sectors to save people from Pakistani shelling.

Official sources said Pakistani troops fired mortars and artillery shells in Uri sector in north Kashmir last afternoon, causing panic and disrupting normal life. They said the shelling, which continued till late in the night, rained residential areas of Churanda, Balgaraw, Jabla and other villages near the Line of Control, resulting in injuries to a villager, Mohammad Iqbal, who was hospitalised.

A few shells exploded near a security force bunker at Kalgi in the forward area, resulting in on-the-spot death of a jawan and injuries to six others.

In another incident, a soldier was killed when an Army vehicle ran over a landmine in north Kashmir early today, the police said.

The mine planted by militants at Batingoo on the Sopore-Bandipore road blew up the Road Opening Party (ROP) vehicle, killing a soldier.

Elsewhere in the valley, at least 12 persons, including nine militants, were killed in separate incidents of violence in Kashmir valley since yesterday, while the security forces recovered a large quantity of arms and ammunition during searches.

A police spokesman stated here this evening that six foreign militants were killed in an encounter with the security forces at Chorwara village in Kokernag area of Anantnag district. The encounter ensued when the security forces cordoned off the village for conducting search operations. The hiding militants opened fire on the search party, leading to a encounter. Till reports last came in, the operation was going on, the police said.

Two local militants were killed in another encounter with the security forces at Barpora village in adjoining Pulwama district in south Kashmir yesterday. They were identified as Abdul Rashid Dar code Iqbal and Mohammad Maqbool Ganai.

One militant and a security force jawan were killed in separate incidents in Baramula district today. A militant was killed in an encounter with SOG (Special Operations Group) of the police and security forces at Mangnipore, Bandipore in Baramula district, this afternoon. The encounter was going on till reports last came in.

Militants shot dead Ghulam Hassan Khan, resident of Chatregul at Janglat Mandi, Anantnag, yesterday afternoon. Another person, Babu Singh, was also injured, who has been hospitalised.

Militants intruded into the house of Salam Din in the Kalaroos area of Kupwara district last night and fired at the inmates indiscriminately, resulting in the death of his wife, Jana Bibi, while he was injured.

JAMMU: At least 10 civilians houses were damaged, two persons were wounded and more than 10 cows were injured when Pakistani troops pounded four border villages in Nowshehra sector in Rajouri on Monday.

Official reports said that the Pakistani troops resorted to heavy shelling and fired 600 mortar shells and 20 rockets on the four inhabited villages. Most of these shells and rockets exploded with deafening sounds, causing panic in the area. Several hundreds of villagers, including women and children, fled to safer areas. The wounded were taken to the hospital.

The reports said that Pakistani troops carried out mortar and rocket attacks to carve out infiltration routes for the militants who had been brought close to the zero line across Nowshehra sector. The Pakistani soldiers tried to storm an Indian Army post, which was foiled when the Indian troops retaliated.

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