M A I N   N E W S

4 Army men killed in Kashmir blast
Tribune News Service and Agencies

Srinagar, February 5
At least four Army personnel were killed and five others wounded when their vehicle was blown up in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast today.

The troops, on receiving a specific information, left the Khanabal 6 am for conducting searches in a village near Pahalgam, about 100 km from here, in south Kashmir.

When the troops were on their way, militants triggered a powerful IED blast on the old Pahalgam road, damaging the Army vehicle. Three Army personnel were killed on the spot while another died on way to hospital.

The five injured Army personnel were evacuated to the base hospital here in a helicopter. The area was cordoned off and searches were being conducted.

The Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the blast. This was the first major action by the group after three of its top commanders were shot dead by security force last month.

Meanwhile, at least 12 militants were killed in three gunbattles with security forces in north Kashmir’s Kupwara and Baramula districts. Nine of them were killed in an encounter at Kandi in Kupwara this afternoon.

The encounter broke out when hiding militants opened fire on a joint team of security forces and the police, who had laid a cordon in the area following information about the presence of militants there.

Two more militants were killed in an encounter at Chatti village in Kupwara this morning. Another militant was killed in a gunbattle with security forces in Bandipura area of Baramula district.

JAMMU: Security forces busted two militant hideouts in Poonch district of Jammu division and recovered ammunition and explosives, including six kg of RDS, from there, sources said here on Thursday.

During search operations in Mohra Bachi area of Surankote tehsil in the district yesterday, the security forces came across a militant hideout and recovered 180 rounds of Pika gun ammunition, six kg of RDX and one remote control device.

Another hideout was located by troops in Mandi area of Poonch district, the sources said, adding that searches led to the recovery of five RPG rounds and 90 rounds of AK ammunition.

Meanwhile, one militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Mohammad Ismail of Kashmir area of Doda district, surrendered before the police on Wednesday. He handed over one SLR, its four magazines and one grenade to police officials.


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