M A I N   N E W S

Militants strike again, kill 8 jawans in Valley
Hizb targets Army convoy on eve of PM’s visit
Majid Jahangir/TNS

Srinagar, June 24
On the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir, militants carried out two deadly attacks here in a span of 30 minutes, killing eight soldiers and injuring over 13 others.

The security agencies had an input that militants were planning to carry out a sensational attack in the Valley ahead of the PM’s visit to make their presence felt.

The attack on the Army convoy took place on the Srinagar bypass at Hyderpora around 4.30 pm. Militants, riding a bike, lobbed hand grenades inside an Army truck besides opening indiscriminate fire.

“Two Army men were killed on the spot while many others were injured. Four among the injured succumbed to their injuries on way to the hospital,” sources in the police said.

Though the soldiers opened a retaliatory fire, militants managed to escape from the spot. The police and paramilitary forces cordoned off the entire stretch of the Srinagar-Jammu highway and launched a manhunt for the militants, who fled on a bike.

The bike was intercepted around 2 km away from the encounter site on the Barzulla road, but the militants lobbed a hand grenade on the security forces and injured a Sub-Inspector of the CRPF and a policeman. Thereafter, they abandoned the bike and fled in a car. A massive search was on to trace the militants, sources said.

CRPF IG (operation) Nalin Prabhat said, “The militants will be flushed out and eliminated.” The Hizbul Mujahideen has, meanwhile, claimed responsibility for the attack. Its spokesman Baliguddin from Muzaffarabad called up a local news agency in Srinagar and claimed responsibility for the attack.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted: “Such high-profile attacks are aimed at restoring the shattered morale of militants while trying to demoralise the security forces.” He also spoke to the Srinagar Corps Commander to express condolences for the loss of lives.

Attacks this year

March 13: Five CRPF personnel and two militants were killed in a suicide attack in Bemina

March 21: A BSF jawan was killed and two others were injured in a militant attack near Nowgam on the Srinagar-Jammu bypass

June 22: Militants carried out a deadly attack in Hari Singh high street, killing two policemen in the heart of the city





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