Saturday, July 7, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

3 Army men killed in ambush
Breach of heavy security
Tribune News Service And PTI

Srinagar, July 6
At least 17 persons, including five Army men and six militants, were killed in separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir since yesterday. The police said three Army men, a civilian and a militant were killed when Lashkar-e-Toiba militants attacked an Army convoy at Chamalwas near Banihal in Doda district on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway this afternoon. Six others were injured in the attack.

Reports said the militants attacked the convoy around 12.30 p.m. In the retaliatory action by troops, one Lashkar militant was killed while one of his associates escaped. One civilian was also killed in the exchange of fire. Sources said Army troops in the convoy and reinforcements, rushed to the scene, retaliated and laid a cordon around the scene of the ambush to flush out the militants.

Traffic on the highway was disrupted due to the ambush and subsequent search operation launched by the Army, and pilgrims travelling to the cave shrine of Amarnath were stranded on the highway.

The latest ambush by the militants has caused concern among security agencies as the 300-km-long highway was heavily guarded and extraordinary security arrangements were taken after the commencement of the Amarnath yatra on July 2.

The Lashkar has claimed responsibility for the ambush. “Our activists carried out the attack on the Army inflicting heavy casualties on them,’’ Lashkar spokesman Abu Usama said over phone to a local news organisation.

Meanwhile, three intruders, according to the police, were killed near the LoC in the Karnah area of Kupwara district in North Kashmir yesterday. Further details about the identity of those killed were awaited.

Two foreign mercenaries were killed in an encounter with the Army and the SOG in the Devan area of Bandipore in Baramula district. They have been identified as Saifullah, code named Sofian, district commander of HUM from Karachi, and Saifullah code named Adam Khore of the Al-Badr outfit from Maidan in Pakistan. Adam Khore, the police said, was active for the past decade and involved in 40 killings in the Kupwara and Bandipore areas. Two AK rifles, four magazines and 40 rounds were seized from them.

In another encounter at Naikote forests in Kupwara district, two unidentified militants were killed. The police said a search party was fired upon by the militants. Two AK rifles, a pistol, 10 AK magazines, 62 pistol rounds, 205 AK rounds, a compass, a binocular, a wireless set, four 60 mm mortar bombs, 22 hand grenades, 35 rifle grenades, 50 detonators and 445 sniper rounds were seized from them. Fareed Ahmad Danda was killed in an encounter with the Army and the SOG at Tungerwa Galli in Anantnag district. A wireless set and a pistol were recovered from the site of the encounter.

Two SOG personnel were injured when the militants hurled a grenade at the patrol party near Bosquchan village near Shopian in Pulwama district early this morning.

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