Monday, August 20, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Nine Pakistani soldiers killed along LoC
Two bunkers totally destroyed
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 19
For the second day today Pakistani troops resorted to intermittent but heavy fire using 80 mm, 60 mm mortars and 12.7 and 14.5 heavy calibre guns in the Poonch, Rajouri, Mendhar and Nowshehra sectors.

Official sources, basing their reports from the field, said at least nine Pak soldiers and three Pak civilians were killed and six soldiers were injured when in the Indian retaliatory fire two Pak bunkers were totally destroyed and two others were partially hit during the past 24 hours.

Answering a question the sources said the three civilians killed had been engaged as bonded labour by the Pakistani troops for constructing new bunkers whereas “our jawans build the bunkers on this side of the LoC”.

According to these sources, Pakistan soldiers also had been using anti-aircraft guns for hitting the Indian posts and pickets.

In the exchange of fire three Indian soldiers were injured.

The sources said the enemy troops had resorted to unprovoked firing and shelling to attack a couple of Indian posts and carve out infiltration routes for the militants. The Indian forces hit back and foiled the Pak game plan and till last evening more than nine infiltrators had been killed in the Poonch and Rajouri areas.

The Indian troops have been given clear instructions to take effective steps to beat back any Pak offensive and thwart any plan to capture “our posts”.

In reply to a question the sources said “why should we seek a meeting of field commanders or a flag meeting to defuse the turmoil when Pakistani troops have been opening the mouth of their guns without any provocation from our side?”

Reports from across the border said the Pakistani agencies were keen to push into Poonch and Rajouri sectors large groups of militants to make for the loss of over 250 rebels during the past four months in the operations launched by the security forces in these two border districts. On the basis of these reports the Indian forces have been told to remain vigilant so that militants in groups were not able to intrude into the Indian territory.

The sources stated that after the Indian retaliatory fire the intensity of Pak firing subsided today.

A group of militants forced their entry into the house of a surrendered militant Abdul Rashid Malik at Shinglipora-Khag in Beerwah tehsil of Badgam district in central Kashmir last night and opened indiscriminate fire on the inmates.

Malik’s daughter Irfana and his sister-in-law Aisha died instantly while two others of the family were seriously injured, the sources said, adding Malik was not present during the incident.

Militants hurled a grenade towards Nowhatta police station in downtown Srinagar last night. However, the grenade fell short of the target and exploded on the road without causing any casualty or damage.

In another incident, security forces averted a major tragedy when they detected and defused a powerful improvised explosive device planted by militants near State Bank of India last evening.Back


Claim baseless, says Pak

Islamabad, August 19
A Pakistani military spokesman denied reports that nine Pakistani soldiers and three civilians were killed in the retaliatory Indian shelling along the Line of Control.

“It is totally baseless and concocted claim, aimed at indulging in unfounded propaganda,” the spokesman said in a statement.

No such incident, whatsoever, took place in the area.” AFPBack

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