Thursday, May 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Pakistan post smashed, five troops dead
13 ultras killed in valley; security camp attacked
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Jammu, May 15
Eight Pakistani soldiers were killed when one of their posts, Kopra Post, was destroyed in retaliatory fire by Indian soldiers across the Poonch sector today.

A Defence Ministry spokesman said the Indian troops retaliated using heavy calibre weapons and mortar guns after the Pakistani forces resorted to unprovoked heavy shelling in Khet village in the Poonch sector. In the firing by Pakistani soldiers, three civilians were critically wounded. The injured were admitted to the Civil Hospital in Poonch.

The spokesman said during the past one week, Pakistani forces had resorted to intermittent but heavy shelling and firing on the Indian border villages to provide a cover to the militants for infiltrating into the Poonch sector.

A militant was shot dead in joint operation by Army and the police at the Tangbal-Nowgam area of Banihal tehsil of Doda district Wednesday.

In Rajouri, ultras ambushed an Army patrol in Dorimal village in Thanamandi tehsil early yesterday. A Jawan, identified as sepoy Ritish, was killed and three others injured in the ambush.

Meanwhile, the authorities today sounded red alert in Jammu division, where security set up have been upgraded around defence installations, sensitive places and VVIP areas in the wake of yesterday’s Kaluchak massacre of 30 persons by the militants, official sources said.

SRINAGAR: A top Hizbul Mujahideen commander was among 12 militants killed in the Kashmir valley, while ultras attacked a security force camp in Jammu and Kashmir overnight.

An official spokesman said the CRPF and special operation group of Jammu and Kashmir police killed a top commander of HM Ghulam Hassan Lone, alias Idress, alias Umar, during a search operation at Dignibal Zakora late last night.

The HM commander, a dreaded militant wanted in a number of militancy-related incidents, was active in the Ganderbal area for the past nine years, the spokesman added. He said another militant of the Lashker-e-Toiba was gunned down at Dinaar Kherkote Nowgam in the wee hours today.

Security forces also gunned down three militants, reportedly foreigners, in a fierce encounter at Watrina Bandipora in north Kashmir today.

Meanwhile, militants attacked a security force camp with automatic weapons at Zainapora in Pulwama district last night. The forces retaliated, but the militants escaped. One person was injured in the shootout, he said.

The spokesman said security forces killed five militants in the woods at Kalra Mannu in Rajouri district last night.

Two more militants were killed by security forces at Thanole Reasi this afternoon, he said.

Militants shot and wounded Ghulam Mohammad Ganai at Beerwa in the central Kashmir district of Badgam last night.

Security forces arrested two militants Zahoor Ahmad Bhat and Mohammad Yasin Baba along with one AK rifle, one wireless set, 75 rounds and three magazines at Ganderbal and Pulwama last night.

He said six suspected militants were arrested by security forces during a search operation at Khakipora Handwara in the frontier district of Kupwara.

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