Wednesday, April 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

17 Pak ultras shot in encounters
Tribune News Service

Jammu, April 22
Seventeen Pak ultras were killed today by the Army in two encounters in the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri.

According to reports reaching here, 13 of these terrorists were killed in the Surankot area of Poonch and 4 others were shot dead at Kalakot in Rajouri.

This is the largest number of militants killed in a single encounter by the Army.

These terrorists were ambushed by the Army in the Hillkaka area of Surankot which is the traditional route taken by the ultras to infiltrate into India from the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Ten terrorists were killed by the Army in the Krishna Ghati and Bhimber Gali areas of Poonch yesterday. AK-rifles, grenades, remote control improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and Afghan currency worth Rs 10,000, besides huge quantity of ammunition was seized.

There has been a spurt in terrorist activity in the state after the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, extended a hand of friendship to Pakistan at his public meeting in Srinagar.

The Centre’s chief negotiator, Mr N.N. Vohra, is also in Srinagar these days to discuss the restoration of peace in the state.

The Deputy Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen. J.B.S. Yadava, had last week told mediapersons here that infiltration of terrorists had increased and they were using modern gadgets to cross the border at night.

Reports indicate that a large number of terrorists are being trained by the ISI in various camps in PoK and Pakistan for being sent to India as the snow has started melting on the high passes.

Foreign terrorists are facing difficulties on this side of the Line of Control these days as the local support for them has started diminishing. Many of the terrorist groups fell in the Army net as they strayed from the traditional route due to the absence of trained guides to lead them to various destinations in the Jammu region and the Kashmir valley through the Pir Panjal range.

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