43 hurt in grenade attack at Bandipora
1 December 2001
The Hindustan Times
Bandipora: Forty-three persons, includinag three policemen, were injured in a grenade explosion at Bandipora in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. Sources said unidentified persons lobbed a hand-grenade at a local bus stand around 2.30 p.m. when a large number of commuters were present. As many as forty-three persons, including three policemen, were hit by grenade splinters, of whom five were critically injured. An official spokesperson said militants were behind the attack and had targeted a police party. However, local residents blamed pro- government militants, locally known as Ikhwanis, for the explosion. The residents alleged that the grenade attack was a reprisal to Friday''s ransacking of the property of some pro-government militant leaders and National Conference members by a violent mob, which was protesting the arrest of several girls. Meanwhile, security forces killed 13 Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Tayyeba militants. Security forces launched a major operation in the vast forest expanse between Handwara and Kupwara in north Kashmir and were reported to have laid siege to Khaipora, Wagat, Zab, Magam, Mahora, Dardipora, Sarsar Marg and Wadpora villages. Sources said that a fierce encounter took place at Zab village in which two militants were killed. Six Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in an encounter at Magam. Two more militants were killed at Mohripora near Achabal in south Kashmir. Security forces also raided a militant hideout at Drabgam in Pulwama, where four Hizbul cadres were hiding. One militant was killed while the rest managed to escape. One Lashkar militant was killed at Kesharpora in south Kashmir''s Kokernag belt. Two more militants, whose identity was yet to be established, were killed in the Nambal forests near the Line of Control in Machil sector.