Sunday, January 13, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Four Pak soldiers killed
UAVs spotted in Rajouri-Poonch belt
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 12
Four Pakistani soldiers were killed and at least six Pakistani bunkers were destroyed when Indian troops retaliated to silence Pakistani guns in the Krishna Ghati belt in Poonch today.

Defence Ministry sources said the Pakistani troops resorted to heavy mortar shelling from across the Krishna Ghati belt in which several deserted civilian houses suffered partial damage. The Indian troops retaliated using heavy calibre weapons and killed at least four Pakistani soldiers and destroyed six bunkers.

The sources said the Indian troops spotted Pakistani unarmed aerial vehicle (UAV) over Kabootar and Nargis posts between the Rajouri and Poonch border belts yesterday. Before Indian gunners could shoot the aircraft, they flew back to Pakistan.

According to the sources, three militants were killed and large quantities of arms and ammunition were recovered from them in an operation carried out by the troops at Jaradhi village in Doda district today.

In another incident, a BSF soldier was killed and three were critically wounded when a group of militants opened fire on a BSF patrol party at Basantgarh in Udhampur district today. The wounded jawans were airlifted to the Military Hospital in Udhampur.

BSF man display arms and ammunition recovered from an underground militant hideout destroyed in the Chrar-e-Sharief area of Badgam district in central Kashmir on Saturday. — PTI photo

SRINAGAR: At least 11 persons, including seven militants, were killed and four others injured in separate incidents, while the security forces arrested three militants, in Jammu and Kashmir since Friday.

Two foreign militants of the Al-Badr were killed in an encounter with the security forces at Kreree in the Dooru area of Anantnag district on Saturday. Two AK rifles and two wireless sets were recovered from the site of the encounter, the police said.

In another encounter at Nupora in the Dooru area of Anantnag two militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen were killed. One of those killed had been identified as Sikandar-e-Azam code name, while two AK rifles and two wireless sets were recovered from the site of the encounter. Two militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in an encounter with the security forces at Rajpora in Pulwama district. They were identified as Hilal Ahmad and Inayatullah Shah of the same area. Two AK rifles and a pistol were recovered. A security force jawan was also killed while another sustained injuries in the exchange of fire. A foreign militant, Saifullah, alias Bashir Bhai, of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, was killed in an encounter at Gund Sathoo in Budgam district, near here, on Friday. One AK rifle, two magazines, two hand grenades, two rifle grenades, one grenade thrower and 22 AK rounds were recovered from the slain militant.

Unidentified militants shot dead a police constable, Ali Jan, at Qamarwari here on Saturday.

In another incident, gunmen shot a counter-insurgent in the Mendhar sector of Poonch district on Saturday.

The SOG of the Jammu and Kashmir police and security forces arrested three top militants of the Al-Badr from Burzulla and Fateh Kadal areas of Srinagar. 


Pak lays mines

Jammu, January 12
The Engineering Corps of the Pakistan army is pursuing the task of laying thousands of land-mines in certain border areas across the international border in the Samba, Akhnoor, Hiranagar and Ranbir Singh Pora sectors.

Highly-placed security sources said here this afternoon that the corps, nicknamed “The Pioneers”, were deployed in frontline positions over a fortnight and had begun laying mines in certain areas that the Pakistan army considered vulnerable.

They were laying “pressure mines” commonly known as anti-personnel mines. Initially, these devices were supplied by the Chinese army to Pakistan but around 1998, Pakistan began their mass production itself, reportedly with Chinese permission.

The second category of mines being laid were “pressure release mines” that were anti-tank mines. The internal configuration of these devices was such that they would explode only when a tank or any military hardware of equivalent weight passes over them.

The discernible trend had been that they were seen laying thousands of pressure mines in the Samba, Hiranagar and R.S. Pora sectors.

Every infantry brigade of Pakistan’s army had a battalion of “Pioneers” attached to it and every such battalion was commanded by a senior army officer of the technical corps.

Scores of “Pioneers” and SSG commandos sustained severe injuries while laying mines when their own personnel reportedly stepped on the mined areas.

Though Pakistan officially denied having sustained any casualty, the fact that “The Pioneers” were entrusted the task of laying the mines, replacing the SSG, was a definite pointer that SSG personnel did suffer casualties. India had the necessary equipment required for defusing mines, the sources said.

In an apparent bid to enhance its capability of carrying nuclear warheads, Pakistan has started a speedy programme of missile production at its most vital defence installation near Islamabad recently, according to highly-placed intelligence sources here.

Pakistan’s missile factory, built with Chinese help, has so far produced eight HATF-I, HATF-II and HATF-III during the past one-and-a-half years at Fatehgunj, about 52 km from Islamabad, the sources said here today.

Chinese technocrats and experts, the sources said, had been working on guidance and control systems, solid fuel and M-4X missile variants, reportedly supplied by Beijing to Islamabad, in the missile complex. PTI, UNI

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