June 2001 News

A militant holed up in a mosque among nine killed in J&K

20 June 2001
The Asian Age

Srinagar: Troops killed a militant who took refuge in a mosque at Kachihama in the frontier district of Kupwara early this morning while elsewhere in the state five militants and a jawan were among eight people killed during the past 24 hours. This was the third incident in one month when militants holed themselves up in mosques in the Kashmir valley. Today's gunbattle broke out after the lone militant opened fire from inside the mosque at security forces who asked him to surrender, sources said, adding reinforcement was rushed to the area from nearby camps to flush out the militant. Security forces retaliated and killed the militant. Some minor damage was caused to roof of the mosque, sources said and added the operation ended this afternoon. However,a handout issued by the zonal police headquarter said one militant was killed in an encounter today. It did not give any details. In previous incidents, three militants were guven safe passage by security forces after they entered a mosque after killing two security personnel at shopian in the Pulwama district. Security forces killed all six militants who had taken shelter in a mosque in the south Kashmir district of Anantnag recently. Three security personnel were also killed and two others injured in the clash that also damaged the mosque. The unified headquarter immediately after the Anantnag mosque encounter said it would strike against militants taking shelfes religious places including mosques. A senior executive committee member of the all party Hurriyat conference, Abdul Gani Lone, had asked militants not to use religious places for their activities against security forces. However, the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad have said they were not using religious places as shelter. Their spokespersons claimed militants were going to mosques only to offer prayers.

 

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