Monday, September 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Minister escapes bid on life
Six ultras killed, 9 held on poll eve

BSF jawans look from behind Habib Hisham and Mohammed Ashraf
BSF jawans look from behind Habib Hisham (left) and Mohammed Ashraf Hafiz, two suspected militants, as they are paraded before the media in Srinagar on Sunday.
— Reuters photo

A deadly German-made pistol
A deadly German-made pistol with cyanide-tipped rounds seized from nine arrested Jaish-e-Muhammad militants being displayed in Srinagar on Sunday. Also seen are letter pads of the JeM and its another frontline organisation Tahreek-ul-Furqan.
— PTI photo

Srinagar/Jammu, September 15
Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Minister Sakeena Itoo today escaped an assassination attempt when militants attacked her motorcade exploding an IED and opening fire in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said, even as 11 persons, including six militants, were killed in the Jammu region and nine JeM militants arrested in Srinagar.

Ms Itoo escaped unhurt in the attack which killed a CRPF sub-inspector and seriously injured two others near Dhamhal Hanjipora, they said.

The attack took place around 12.30 pm when Itoo was on way to Danev—Kandimarg for an election rally.

This is the second attempt on the life of Ms Itoo, seeking re-election from the Noorabad constituency of the district, in the past five days. On Wednesday, militants had hurled a grenade inside her house in Dhamhal Hanjipora, injuring four of her party activists.

Meanwhile, 11 people including six militants, were killed in separate militancy related incidents and a powerful explosive with 10-kg RDX was detected in the Jammu region since last evening, official sources said today.

Militants opened fire on security personnel in the Kotli-Kalaban area this morning and in the ensuing gunbattle three ultras and an equal number of civilians were killed and two villagers injured, the sources said.

Three ultras were shot dead by security forces in an encounter in the Banihal area of Doda district this morning.

An Army personnel was killed when militants fired with automatic weapons on a Rashtriya Rifles party in a forest area of Mendhar in Poonch district last night. Militants escaped after attacking the security personnel.

The body of an unidentified person suspected to have been killed by militants was found in a ditch at Rajdhani in Rajouri district.

An explosive device with 10-kg RDX was detected at the graveyard of Jama Masjid in Doda town last evening. The area was immediately cordoned off and the device contained in a rice cooker defused.

In a setback to militant plans to disrupt the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly poll beginning tomorrow, security forces have arrested nine militants of the pro-Pakistan Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit from various parts of the city and recovered huge amount of arms and ammunition from them.

Presenting the arrested militants before the media today, BSF DIG R S Bhullar said Abdul Rashid Kar, alias Shamsuddin Hyder, publicity chief of JeM and close associate of Gazi Baba, an accused in the December 13 Parliament House attack, was arrested on a tip off from a hideout in the Bota Kadal area last night.

On the information provided by Kar, eight more JeM militants, including its district commander Javaid Ahmad Baba, alias Abu Hamza, were arrested from various parts of the city by BSF intelligence and 115 battalion of the border guards. PTIBack

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