Monday, September 10, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Six troops killed in IED blast
Hizbul owns responsibility
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Jammu, September 9
Exactly after 24 hours, militants struck again in Udhampur district and killed six Army personnel, including one JCO, today.

Defence Ministry reports said while the Army team was on patrol duty, their vehicle was smashed in an IED blast in Batoi village in Mahore tehsil of Udhampur district. The vehicle was first blown up and later it fell into a nullah. Four Army men, including the JCO, were killed on the spot and two others succumbed to their wounds.

Yesterday six BSF officials, including Commandant, S.S. Dahya, were killed in the Gool area of Udhampur district.

Security forces carried out rescue operations, but by the time the soldiers were lifted out of the nullah, they were dead. The area was immediately cordoned off and search operations were launched to track down the killers. The police suspects that the IED had been triggered by a remote control device by the militants who might have been somewhere near the site.

Since September 3, more than 20 security personnel, including 10 Army men, have been killed in the Jammu region. And in most of these incidents the militants used the IEDs and grenades grenades to storm into police stations and lines and the IEDs to blow up security convoys.

The bodies of six BSF men, including the Commandant, Mr S.S. Dahya, were brought from Sangaldhan in Udhampur district to Jammu today. The bodies had been placed in coffins and were sent by air to their respective villages.

The Inspector-General of the BSF, Mr Vijay Raman, wept bitterly when he placed wreaths on the coffins. The police was represented by the Inspector-General, Mr R.V. Raju. Several other senior BSF and police officers were present at the condolence meeting.

According to the police, three bodies had been blown to pieces.

A Hizbul spokesman in Islamabad said its militants carried out the attack.

An official spokesperson from Srinagar said militants detonated a powerful IED this morning in Takia Darand Ganderbal when a security force convoy was passing by. However, no casualties or damage to property have been reported.

Militants hurled a grenade and fired at an Army convoy at Arampora in the frontier district of Kupwara last evening, injuring seven Army personnel and damaging a few vehicles.

The forces retaliated and in the ensuing shootout, one girl was killed and the house of a civilian damaged.

However, the residents alleged that security forces had fired indiscriminately and set the house afire.

During the past six months, more than 100 boys trying to cross over to PoK had been arrested by security forces in the northern sector, the spokesperson added.

In a joint operation, the Army and Special Operation Group of the Jammu and Kashmir Police killed a foreign militant Sajad Iqbal, alias Janbaz, at Warnoo in the frontier district of Kupwara last night and recovered an AK rifle, five magazines and 110 rounds.

One soldier was also killed and a major critically wounded in the shootout. Official sources said body of one Farooq Ahmad was recovered at Badri Behari in Baramula today.

Militants attacked a security force camp with grenades and automatic weapons at Serigafara today. The forces returned the fire exchange lasted about 15 minutes. However, no one was injured.

In a joint operation, the SOG, Army and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) killed two foreign militants at Yechkoot in the central Kashmir district of Badgam late last night. Two AK rifles, four magazines, one grenade launcher and a wireless set were seized.

Forces also gunned down a militant Bashmir Ahmad Najar, alias Shaheryar Khan, at Bunzeri forest in Baramula district last night and recovered an AK rifle, two magazines and four grenades near the site of encounter.

The spokesperson said one civilian was killed in an encounter between militants and forces in Kupwara, while forces captured a militant each at Sopore and Chadura last night.

A report from Baramula said the police had registered an FIR following a complaint by villagers at Natusa that security forces had molested women and tortured to death one Ghulam Nabi Lone on Friday. UNI

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