Sunday, November 19, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Shelling forces fresh migration
4 schoolboys hurt in mine blast

SRINAGAR, Nov 18 (UNI) Eleven persons, including nine militants and a woman, were killed even as heavy shelling by Pakistani troops forced fresh migration from areas near the Line of Actual Control since the past 24 hours.

Militants kidnapped two persons, including a special police officer, in North Kashmir late last night, an official spokesman said.

The militants shot dead Sonaullah Wani near Nallah Kunzar in Baramula district last night.

In another incident, a mine planted by the militants at Drangbal Pampore, on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway exploded, causing injuries to four schoolboys, he said.

An encounter took place between the militants and security forces near a fire station this afternoon. However, no one was injured.

He said the militants hurled two grenades towards security force pickets at Bohri Kadal and Zainakadal early this morning. No one was injured in the incident.

He said a woman was killed in an encounter between the militants and security forces at Kala Manda last evening.

Four militants surrendered along with four AK rifles, 12 magazines, 335 rounds, three pistols, three wireless sets. The security forces seized two rocket launchers and two rockets at Badgam last evening. A large cache of arms and ammunition were also recovered from the slain militants, an Army spokesman said here today.

Meanwhile, a report from Baramula said heavy shelling by Pakistani troops in northern sector since Friday evening has forced fresh migration from the areas near the Line of Actual Control.

Official sources said Pakistani troops resorted to heavy shelling from across the border in Keran, Karnah, Teetwal, Haihama and Uri sectors since Friday evening.

The sources said more than 60 artillery and mortar shells, fired by the Pakistani troops in these sectors, exploded in the fields.

They said a security jawan was injured after a shell exploded near his bunker at Haihama.

People living near the Line of Actual Control, particularly in Uri sector, migrated to safer places because of heavy shelling from across the border, the sources said.

Officials believed that Pakistani troops were resorting to heavy shelling and firing for the past week as they wanted to push more militants and arms and ammunition into Kashmir before routes closed due to snow.

Light snow early this week in the border areas had resulted in Pakistani troops intensifying shelling to give cover to the militants to sneak into this side, the officials said.

Meanwhile, work on the construction of community and individual bunkers in the border areas in North Kashmir is in progress. The authorities have decided to construct 1,000 community and individual bunkers so that people can take shelter in the event of shelling.

A spokesman said troops of the Delta Force conducted a search operation in Navapachchi forests, 40 km north of Kishtwar, in Doda district yesterday following a tip-off about the presence of militants in the forests. During the operation, the militants fired at the search party with sophisticated weapons and lobbed a number of grenades towards it while it was approaching their hideouts. The security forces returned the fire in which five militants were killed.

In another encounter, which took place between the militants and troops of 2 Sikh Regiment at Dongi Grate village in Rajouri district last evening, four militants were killed and a large cache of arms and ammunition was recovered.

The recoveries included three AK assault rifles along with 15 magazines, a pistol along with two silencers and two magazines, 11 hand grenades, seven wireless sets, a grenade launcher and more than 1,200 rounds.

Pakistani troops, meanwhile, resorted to unprovoked firing and shelling from across the border in Nowshera, R S Pora and Akhnoor sectors last evening. Pakhu Ram was injured at Pallanwala in Akhnoor sector.

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