Saturday, March 3, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Over 20 cops shot in Rajouri
BSF apprehends 17 militants
Tribune News Service

Jammu, March 2
More than 20 policemen were killed in an ambush laid by the militants in the Kalaban area of Rajouri district today.

According to late reports reaching here, a police party had been sent to carry out search operations against those militants who had killed two Muslim civilians in Rajouri this morning.

The reports said when a party of 28 policemen were marching to the forest belt they were ambushed by the militants who resorted to indiscriminate fire on the patrol party.

The police authorities in Jammu said there was no exact report about the casualties but eyewitness accounts said more than 20 policemen were killed and eight others were critically wounded.

The Army authorities were contacted to launch a manhunt for the killers. By the time the troops reached the spot the militants had fled from the scene.

SRINAGAR: The Border Security Force (BSF) here on Friday claimed to have apprehended 17 suspects of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Al-Umar outfits involved in various incidents of violence during the past two months in Srinagar city and recovered a huge quantity of arms and ammunition from them.

At least six civilians and three security force personnel were killed while 120 civilians and 34 security personnel were injured in these incidents.

“The miscreants were working under the direct supervision of Pakistani militant, Nazir Ahmad Khan alias Abu Hamza, deputy chief of HuM who was killed in an encounter with the security force personnel on February 15”, a BSF spokesman here stated. The arrested suspects were presented before mediapersons here today by BSF officers. The DIG, BSF, B.N. Kabu, on the occasion, claimed that the “network of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Al Umar have been almost completely busted in Srinagar city”, he said all those apprehended had confessed that they had indulged in these incidents of violence.

The spokesman stated that there were a number of incidents of grenade attack in Srinagar city after the Id-ul Fitr resulting in a number of casualties comprising civilians and security personnel.

All those arrested belonged to different parts of Srinagar city and were involved in grenade attack and laying ambushes and disturbing peace and tranquility in the town, the spokesman stated.

Meanwhile, the police here today claimed that the militant involved in the attack on a convoy of the Army in Anantnag town yesterday was identified as Ghulam Mohiuddin Rubani alias Abdul Mateen Chacha, of Malakand, Pakistan. However, locals in Anantnag town claimed that Ghulam Mohiuddin was a civilian and a resident of a nearby village.

As already reported, five persons including two Army men, one of them a Colonel, and three civilians were killed in the incident in the town yesterday. Elsewhere, militants shot dead two persons, including an activist of the ruling National Conference in separate incidents in the Kashmir valley since yesterday.

Unidentified militants shot dead a National Conference worker, Mr Ghulam Mohammad Bhat of Dangerpora, in Kupwara district last night. He was also running a shop at Kalaroos, the police said. In another incident, militants kidnapped and subsequently shot dead Assadullah Tantray, a contractor, in Bandipore area of Baramula district in north Kashmir. Tantray, whose body was recovered near the Athwatto nullah this morning, was kidnapped from his house at Athwatto village yesterday, the police said.

An official spokesman said two Lashkar ultras were killed in a fierce gunbattle with the security forces at Phagla in Poonch district in Jammu region.

In the same district, militants barged into the house of one Kulsoom Fatima in Mendhar sector last night and killed the woman and her two-and-a-half-year-old child, the spokesman said.

The spokesman said the body of a National Conference activist was found at Athwathoo in Baramula district, adding that he was abducted by militants who slit his throat with a sharp-edged weapon.

Two more persons were killed by ultras at Gambir Mughlan in Rajouri district, the spokesman said, adding that one of them was an employee of the Public Health Engineering Department.

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