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18 infiltrators killed in North Kashmir
Ehsan Fazili And S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Srinagar (Jammu), July 16
At least 13 infiltrators were killed as two separate infiltration bids were foiled by the troops in North Kashmir since yesterday, marking a sudden rise in the infiltration attempts, along the borders in Jammu and Kashmir. In another infiltration attempt five infiltrators were killed in Akhnoor sector of the Jammu region today, taking the toll of infiltrators to 18 in less than 24 hours. The sudden rise in these attempts since the November 2003 ceasefire, according to the police and security officials here, is aimed at creating trouble in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly at a time when the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, is on a visit to the US.

Nine unidentified infiltrators were killed when the security forces foiled an infiltration bid in Gulmarg-Uri sector of Baramula district today, a defence spokesman said here. He said the group was spotted at Chotali-Samawali, south of Rampur in Gulmarg sector around 11 am today. A fierce encounter between the armed militants and troops continued for over three hours leading to the death of all nine militants. The recoveries made from the spot included nine AK rifles and two pistols. A six-year old girl, Naseema, daughter of Mohammad Shafi Sood, was also killed in the exchange of fire, the police said here.

In another infiltration bid, four militants of the Al-Badr and the Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen were killed in Keran sector of Kupwara district in north Kashmir last night. Two security personnel were injured in the incident, the police said. Four AK rifles, 12 magazines, 425 rounds, three wireless sets, four antennas and a binocular were recovered from the site of the encounter.

With this there have been three successive major infiltration attempts along the LoC in north Kashmir this week. The first one was reported from Gurez sector of Baramula district on Tuesday in which nine bodies were recovered till yesterday. Sources said today the operation was nearing completion in the higher reaches of Gurez, in which more than 12 militants had been killed.

There has been a sudden rise in infiltration attempts along the LoC during the recent weeks, even as a ceasefire is in force and the border fencing has been completed to prevent any infiltration. As compared to 20 attempts of infiltration along the borders in Jammu and Kashmir last year, at least 15 attempts have been reported so far this year.

Elsewhere in the Kashmir valley, at least six persons, including four militants, were killed in separate incidents since yesterday.

Two unidentified militants were killed in an encounter with the security forces at Rangwar Chowkibal in Kupwara district today, the police said. Two AK rifles, seven magazines and 112 rounds were recovered from the site of the encounter.

One militant and an Army jawan were killed in an encounter at the Bona Watsar forests in the Handwara area of Kupwara district yesterday.

A foreign militant was killed in an ambush by the security forces near Patushai village of Bandipore in Baramula district last night.

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