Saturday, January 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Blast in high court complex

Srinagar, January 11
A powerful grenade, aimed at a security vehicle, missed the target and exploded in the compound of the heavily-guarded Jammu and Kashmir High Court here today, official sources said.

Elsewhere in the state, six militants and a civilian were among seven persons killed in two encounters, they said.

The grenade was aimed at a security vehicle parked outside the boundary wall of the high court near Jehangir Chowk in the heart of the city. No one was injured in the explosion.

The police and paramilitary forces deployed in the high-security area immediately laid a cordon and launched a hunt to nab the militants.

No militant outfit had owned responsibility for the attack so far.

In an anti-militant operation, the sources said the security forces shot dead four Hizbul Mujahideen militants in a major gunfight at Bahak-Dadikuchan in Anantnag district.

The encounter broke out when hiding ultras fired at a joint party of troops of the Rashtriya Rifles, BSF and police who had laid a cordon around the area to flush them out.

An Army search party also gunned down two militants in an encounter at Kapran village in Anantnag, they said, adding that a civilian was also killed in the shootout.

A report from Jammu said a sarpanch and two militants were among four persons killed and three injured in separate militancy-related incidents across Jammu division where the security forces defused two powerful IEDs since yesterday, sources said.

The sources said the militants shot a sarpanch, Mohammad Karim, in the Bafliaz area of the district early today. In another incident, a joint team of the security forces and the police killed two militants and wounded another during an exchange of fire at Fatehpur in Rajouri district last evening.

The bodies of two militants along with arms and a letter head of the Lashkar-e-Toiba was recovered from the spot of the encounter indicating their affiliation with the outfit. However, the injured militant along with his two accomplices escaped.

Reports from Doda district said a woman and two policemen were injured in an encounter between the Special Task Force of the police and militants in the far-flung area of Mangotra-Marmat during the period.

However, the woman later succumbed to her injuries.

Meanwhile, the security forces in Kashmir have been put on maximum alert following intelligence reports that the militants could strike before Republic Day.

Security has been beefed up and all vehicles, particularly those belonging to the police and the task force, were being thoroughly searched by BSF personnel, official sources said. PTI, UNIBack

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