Friday, September 7, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Army convoy targeted, 6 killed
Traffic suspended; combing operations on
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Jammu, September 6
At least four soldiers were killed and 17 others, including two civilians wounded in an IED blast that wrecked a bus carrying Army personnel at Digdole near Banihal on the national highway today.

Defence Ministry sources said two soldiers died on the spot and two succumbed to their injuries later. The sources said the condition of four of them was critical.

However, eyewitness accounts said six soldiers died in the blast.

The police said the Army convoy was on its way from Srinagar to Jammu when one of the buses was hit by the blast. The police said the IED might have been planted by militants.

Among the injured are the driver and cleaner of the bus.

What has amazed the police is the ability of the militants to target even private buses carrying Army personnel. As per routine, the personnel are shifted from one place to another in private buses to create confusion.

Today’s incident had, official sources said, indicated that the militants had prior information about this.

Traffic remained suspended on the highway for several hours to enable the security forces to carry out combing operations.

Meanwhile, a report from Srinagar said the security forces shot six militants in separate encounters and arrested three along with 11 kg of RDX in the valley since last night, the sources said today.

Two unidentified militants were killed in an ongoing operation at Badji-Halan near Damhal in Anantnag district of South Kashmir today.

The operation was launched by the security forces early today to flush out militants hiding in the area. However, they ignored warnings and instead resorted to heavy firing. House-to-house searches were still continuing in the area, the sources said.

Two more militants were killed by the security forces in an encounter during search operations at Haka-Pathar Bahik in the Kalaroos area of Kupwara district last night.

A rifle, four grenades and some ammunition were recovered from them.

Two other militants were gunned down during combing operations at Batergam and Charkote forests in the same district early today.

The sources said the Army arrested two militants along with 9 kg of RDX and four grenades from the Arizal area of Badgam district last evening.

Another militant fell into the dragnet of troops at Kandi in Kupwara. He led the troops to a hideout from where 2 kg of RDX, two detonators and two AK magazines with 60 rounds were seized.

The sources said a former chief commander of Jehad Force, Bashir Ahmad Sheikh, was kidnapped by the militants from his house in the Bandipora area of Baramula district late last night. The police had launched a manhunt to rescue him.

The militants triggered a powerful IED blast at Chursoo-Awantipora on the Srinagar-Jammu highway last night, damaging four houses. No one was injured in the explosion.

Meanwhile, Pakistani shells slammed into the Gurez sector last evening, targeting installations of the security forces as also civilian areas.

There were no reports of casualties or damage to property as the projectiles exploded mid-air or in fields.Back


Yaseen Malik allowed to visit USA

Jammu, September 6
A TADA court here has permitted senior Hurriyat leader and JKLF chief Yaseen Malik to visit the USA for treatment, including surgery.

The designated court passed the direction yesterday after Malik, along with his counsel, appeared in the court with the plea that in view of his deteriorating health, he may be allowed to proceed to the USA as advised by doctors.

However, the court asked him to file an affidavit assuring his return by the end of October this year to appear before the court in the first week of November. It also directed his counsel to appear regularly before the court till Malik returned.

While issuing the order, it said the bail bonds filed earlier by Malik stood intact. The TADA court further ordered that Malik should furnish his full address, place of residence and name of the hospital in the USA where he would be treated. PTIBack

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