Friday, May 30, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

23 militants killed in encounters
4 JeM ultras surrender; three Hizb men held

Srinagar, May 29
At least 15 militants were killed today in an encounter with security forces in Anantnag district in south Kashmir, defence sources here said.

The encounter began early this morning following a tip-off about the presence of militants in Lacchipora village in Anantnag district.

The sources said that so far 15 militants, believed to be foreigners, had been killed and the encounter was still going on.

JAMMU: Six top Pakistani militants were shot dead today in the Pir Panjal mountain ranges in the border district of Poonch, official sources said here.

On specific information about the crossing over of a group of heavily armed militants in the Pir Panjal ranges from the Pakistan side, security forces launched a seek-and-destroy operation in the Kolian Doke forest belt in Poonch, where they had taken shelter, the sources told PTI.

During the search of the area, militants fired grenades, they said, adding that troops fired back and in the gun-battle, which was still on, six militants were killed.

The sources said that all of them belonged to Pakistan.

Four AK rifles, seven magazines, five grenades and 136 rounds were recovered from them, they said.

Meanwhile, two hardcore Hizbul Mujahideen militants were shot dead by the Border Security Force (BSF) in the remote Mahore area of Udhampur distinct late last night, a BSF spokesman said today.

Acting on a tip-off that some militants were hiding in the area, BSF personnel launched an operation to flush them out. The ultras opened fire on the jawans who retaliated killing the two militants.

The deceased were identified as Mohammad Aslam and Gulam Nabi, the spokesman added.

POONCH: Four Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants, including one Al-Qaeda member, surrendered today in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, the police said.

The Al-Qaeda member, Mustaq Ahmed, alias Abu Kasif, who fought in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan, laid down his weapons along with three other top JeM militants before district police chief Mukesh Kumar at a function this morning.

Mukesh, who welcomed this step, said “the group of four JeM militants, one of them Al-Qaeda member were part of militants headquarter at Hill Kaka”.

Besides, Al-Qaeda member, others have been identified as Mohammad Bashir, Shuwakat Ali and Mohammad Khursheed of the JeM. PTI, UNI

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