Sunday, June 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Farooq escapes attack
Al-Madina fires grenades at Srinagar function
Tribune News Service and Agencies

An Army team conducts house-to-house searches
An Army team conducts house-to-house searches at Bemina in Srinagar on Saturday. — PTI photo

Srinagar, June 15
Militants made an abortive bid on the life of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah when they fired rifle grenades towards the venue of a function attended by him here this afternoon.

A police spokesman stated here this evening that militants fired “two rifle grenades towards the State Board of School Education complex at Hamza Colony, Bemina, where the inaugural function was going on” in which the Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, was also present. “One grenade exploded midair while another fell about 600 yards away from the venue of the function. No damage was caused”, the spokesman added.

A hitherto unknown militant outfit, Al-Madina, has owned the responsibility of the attack. A spokesman told some local media organisations on telephone that it targeted Dr Abdullah.

According to eyewitnesses, the explosion did not hamper the function, the proceedings of which were conducted smoothly. The security forces later cordoned off parts of the Bemina locality on the outskirts of the city and conducted house-to-house searches to nab the culprits. There were no reports of any clues.

Elsewhere, five persons, including two militants, were killed in separate incidents in the Kashmir valley today.

One militant of the Lashkar-e-Toiba was killed in an encounter with the security forces at the Aliyalpora checkpost near Shopian in Pulwama district of south Kashmir today. The encounter ensued when hiding militants opened fire on a search party in the area. The security forces had launched the search operations after the hiding militants hurled a grenade towards a patrol party. One AK rifle, five magazines and 30 rounds were seized from the slain militant, the police said.

A local militant was killed in an encounter with the security forces at Monghama village near Tangmarg in Baramula district today.

The police found the body of an unidentified person from Sedaw village in the Shopian area of Pulwama district today.

JAMMU: Militants attacked a procession of pilgrims, firing indiscriminately and lobbing grenades, killing two of them and injuring two others in the Khora-Kanthwara area of Kishtwar tehsil in Doda district this afternoon, official sources said here.

Militants fired from a hilltop in the area when the procession was on way to Kud Mata Devi, the sources said.

Two of the four seriously injured pilgrims later succumbed to injuries, they said.


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