Wednesday, September 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Day of terror in J&K
Militants kill 5 villagers, attack Army convoy, blow up culvert
Tribune News and Agencies

Srinagar, September 2
An army driver and a child were killed and 16 others, including six jawans, injured after militants ambushed a military convoy triggering a gunbattle between the two sides on the Jammu-Srinagar highway today.

Official sources said that ultras detonated a powerful IED when the convoy was passing Chrisoo-Awanipora, killing Army driver Ranjit Singh, and opened heavy fire on the security personnel.

Six Army personnel and 10 civilians were injured. Some Army vehicles were also damaged.

The blast took place minutes after traffic on the national highway was resumed around mid-day after the militants blew up a culvert at Lawlordra-Qazigund, nearly 80 km from here, in the wee hours of today.

A jawan of the bomb disposal squad was killed and two others injured while trying to defuse an explosive planted by the militants at nearby Lower Munda yesterday.

The Hizbul Mujahideen had owned responsibility for today’s IED blast.

A spokesman for the outfit contacted a local news agency on the phone and said Hizbul activists had detonated the IED targeting the Army vehicle.

The explosion was followed by firing from the militants creating panic on the highway. A private bus carrying Army personnel, two Tata Sumo vehicles with Jammu-bound passengers and a Maruti car were damaged in the incident.

According to the police, the IED planted at a culvert near the BJP headquarters at Lawdoora, Qazigund, went off at about 2.15 am. The culvert was partially damaged in the explosion.

Traffic was suspended uptil 8.25 am. The movement of traffic in Jawahar Tunnel remained suspended from midnight until 8 am.

Meanwhile, four police personnel were injured in a gunbattle between holed-up militants and the police in Kathua district today, sources said.

The gunbattle took place at 3.30 pm in the Ghati area after the police cordoned off a group of seven heavily-armed militants who had infiltrated from across the border.

Meanwhile, a foreign mercenary was killed and two securitymen were injured when militants attacked a camp of the BSF at Ishber, Nishat on the outskirts of Srinagar early this morning. The police said the militants hurled a grenade and began firing. The militant had been identified as Choudhary Imtiyaz Ahmad from Bahawalpur in Pakistan. The recoveries included an AK rifle, 8 magazines, 116 rounds, 63 empty cartridges, three hand grenades and a wire-cutter.

The militants gunned down five villagers in the Banihal area of Doda district, late last night, while at least five suspected Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) ultras and a jawan were killed in a fierce clash in the Surankote sector of Poonch district early this morning.

Five persons, including a sarpanch, were gunned down by the militants in Doda district late last night, the police said today.

Terrorists barged into the house of a sarpanch, Khadim Hussain, at Chamalwas village and opened indiscriminate firing, killing him and his two sons on the spot. Next they shot a woman and a child in a nearby house.

In a fierce encounter in the Surankote area of Poonch, five ultras, suspected to be LeT militants, were shot while an Army jawan died and two others were injured.

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