Tuesday, July 17, 2001,
 Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Militants engineer 16 bomb blasts
Bid to disrupt border fencing

Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 16
In a bid to mount pressure on Delhi to grant concessions to Pakistan during the two-day summit, militants tried to disrupt the fencing of the 187-km long international border by triggering 16 bomb blasts on this side of the border in Akhnoor sector and by engaging the troops in heavy fire at nine places in different parts of the state during the past 24 hours.

According to the police, some border fencing pillars were damaged in the blasts early this morning in the Golepattan area of Akhnoor sector. A BSF jawan was injured in the blasts.

The police said 21 pencil bombs had been tied to the pillars of which 16 exploded and before the others could be triggered off the BSF went into action and defused these.

Official reports said militants might have sneaked into the Indian territory for carrying out the blasts and after completing the task might have returned. However, the security forces launched a manhunt and succeeded in killing two militants in the same area.

The police said the bomb explosions had been carried out by the other side to “convey to our forces that they will not allow the international border to be fenced. A senior BSF functionary said, “The blasts have not caused any damage because the work on the fencing project in this sector has not progressed.” He said, “The fencing will be completed within the stipulated time and so far more than 25 km have been covered”.

Meanwhile, the Army authorities said during the past 10 days the troops had killed more than 60 militants in Poonch and Rajouri districts and over 150 during the past two months.

A senior functionary of a corps headquarters said, “The seek and destroy operation in Poonch and Rajouri districts has been intensified after reports were received that large groups of militants had sneaked into the border districts in recent months”.

A senior police officer posted in Poonch said, “My department has been receiving specific information regarding the militant plans and hideouts which has been the result of the successful operations”.

State government functionaries said if the Indo-Pak summit did not change the “history” of Jammu and Kashmir, the level of violence would increase. They said under the revamped and upgraded united headquarters, instructions had been given to the troops to strengthen border patrolling so as to further reduce the level of infiltration. "We have decided to be on the offensive to force the militants to be on the run, they asserted".

JAMMU: Six civilians, including two women, were killed by militants in the Ramban area on Monday.

Officials reports said Mohammad Shafi, his brother and two women from their family, Janoo and Khatoon, had gone to the Khopra top to graze their cattle. Their uncle was also with them. The militants appeared from one corner of Sumbad village and dragged Mohammad Shafi, his brother, Janoo and Khatoon to one side and killed them with gunshots. The militants kidnapped their uncle whose whereabouts are still unknown.

Militants also kidnapped the father of a constable in Neel Bathu village and slit his throat. His body was left in a pool of blood on a village road.

In another incident, militants struck at Ghulam Rasool’s house in Neel Top village of Ramban tehsil last night and fired indiscriminately upon the inmates. Sources said Ghulam Rasool was killed on the spot, while another inmate Mohammad Yusuf was injured.

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