September 1999 News

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10 Lashkar-e-Toiba militant shot dead in Budhal, Mandi

22 September 1999
Daily Excelsior

RAJOURI: In one of the big success in the continued anti-militancy operation, army today liquidated 10 hardcore and front ranking militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit in two encounter at Budhal in Rajouri and Mandi in Poonch district.

Meanwhile, troops also averted a major catastrophe when they detected and defused a live powerful bomb in Government school at Gounthal in Surankote during working hours of the school. Staff and students of the school had a miraculous escape.

A Defence spokesman said troops threw a major security ring in Thil village of Budhal tehsil, located at a height of 13,500 feet in Pir Panjal range last night after getting a specific information about the presence of 10 militants in the area.

Troops, who formed part of a ‘Seek and Destroy’ Operation launched by the army, established contact with militants at 2100 hours last night and continued to chase them. A fierce gun-battle continued throughout the last night in the jungles of Thil villages.

By 0900 hours this morning, army had succeeded in eliminating nine hardcore militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit while one militant managed to flee from the encounter site. An army jawan was also seriously injured in the encounter.

Reinforcement has been rushed to the spot to eliminate the absconding militant, who was also suspected to be a top activist of Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Identity of the slain militants couldn’t be established immediately but the spokesman said most of them appeared to be foreign mercenaries from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their dead bodies have been recovered from the encounter site and handed over to local police for identification.

A huge quantity of weaponry including rifles, pistols, explosives, communication sets and ammunition was recovered from the possession of slain militants. Besides weaponry, troops also recovered mutton, butter, glucose and other eatables from them. Exact details of the recovery were being worked out.

This was for the first time that nine militants were liquidated by the troops in a single operation. Official sources described the operation as a major success and lauded the efforts of army officers and jawans involved in the operation.

Another militant was killed during a fierce encounter with army in Norian area of Mandi in Poonch district today. The slain militant also belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit. His identity hasn’t been established as yet but he too was suspected to be a Pakistani.

From his possession, troops recovered 200 AK rounds, 180 snipper rifle rounds, seven magazines, 19 AGL grenades, 10 grenades, 17 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and 20 detonators.

Troops averted what could have been a major tragedy in Government high school Gounthal in Surankote tehsil of Poonch. Militants had planted a powerful IED inside the school premises during the working hours.

Panic gripped student and staff members of the school when a report that a bomb had been planted in the school premises spread. Students and staff members deserted the school and took shelter in safer areas.

A bomb disposal unit of the army rushed to the spot and defused the bomb safely, averting a major tragedy and saving the lives of students and teachers. Local people condemned the militants for planting a bomb in the school and targeting innocent students and teachers.

Troops recovered three AK rifles, one pistol, 12 magazines and one radio set from the possession of three militants, who were shot dead yesterday at Bachianwali Gali in Surankote.


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