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Day of terror in Kashmir
7 securitymen among 15 killed

Srinagar, April 25
Seven security personnel, including an Army Major, and a block president of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, were among the 15 persons killed and 40 injured today as militants stepped up their attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said.

The escalated violence saw the first suicide attack of the year in the state in which a vain attempt was made to target a sector headquarters of the BSF, ambush on an Army patrol and a blast inside a court in Baramula district of north Kashmir which witnessed the maximum number of militancy-related incidents today, the sources said.

Three suspected Jaish-e-Mohammed militants attempted to storm the BSF camp in Bandipore, triggering a gunbattle which killed three security personnel, a civilian and two ultras.

Three members of the suicide squad approached the sector headquarters at Bagh-Bandipora, 55 km from here, from the rear side around 9.45 am, hurling grenades and opening fire on the troops working in a garage, a BSF spokesman said.

The ultras then moved towards the main gate, hardly 50 yards from the rear side, and tried to force their entry. However, their attempt was foiled by the alert sentry who engaged them in a gunfight and shot two of them dead while the third escaped, the spokesman said.

Six BSF personnel were seriously injured in the encounter out of which three Constable Ram Dev Singh, Constable driver Shabir Ahmed and Constable Mushtaq Ahmed succumbed to their injuries.

A civilian, Ghulam Mohammed Khan, hailing from Madar village in Bandipora also died in the incident and his mutilated body was found during the subsequent operation near the main gate.

Prior to the suicide attack, militants ambushed an Army search party, killing a Major and a jawan and wounding three soldiers at Sumblar village, also in Bandipora

Troops fired back, but the ultras fled, taking advantage of the darkness.

In another incident, three persons, including two women, were killed and 32 others injured when suspected militants triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) inside a court at Pattan, 27 km from here, on the Srinagar-Baramula highway, this afternoon.

The blast took place in the complex near the court of Judicial Magistrate around 12.20 pm, killing a woman, Nasreen, instantly and injuring 34 others. Two of the injured Fatima (Meena) and Ghulam Rasool Bhat succumbed to their wounds while being shifted to the hospital.

An advocate was among the injured.

This was the second blast at a crowded place in the valley during the past four days. On Tuesday, militants set off an IED at Gulshanpora in South Kashmir, killing six civilians and injuring 10.

In Jammu district, the sources said, two Army jawans were killed and an equal number injured in two separate mine blasts at Makwal and Matal villages last evening.

Block president of the PDP Abdul Gani Malik and surrendered militant Abdul Ahmad Malik were shot dead by militants inside their houses at Dangiwacha in Baramula late last night.

Militants also killed three persons identified as Fayaz Ahmad Dar and Javid Ahmad and Farooq Ahmad at Larev and Drangbal in Pulwama district and Handwara in Kupwara district, respectively.

The body of a civilian, Nazir Ahmad Chohan, was found by the police from Kellar in Pulwama district today, the sources said, adding that he had reportedly died in a crossfire between militants and security forces in the village.

However, residents of the village staged a protest demonstration today, alleging that Chohan was picked up by the Army last night for questioning and was killed during interrogation.

The police also picked up the body of an unidentified person from Kurhama in Kupwara district today. PTI

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