February 2002 News

Seven militants among 12 killed in Kashmir

13 February 2002
The Times of India

SRINAGAR: Seven separatist militants, three police officers and two civilians were killed in Kashmir, officials said on Wednesday.Army, backed by counter-insurgency police units, on Wednesday shot dead four militants at Lawaypora village, near Bandipora town, 60 km north of Srinagar.Three of the slain militants belonged to the pro-Pakistan group, Al Fatah Force, and included its supreme commander, Bashir Gazi, and district commander, Vikas Moulvi, an Army spokesman said.''The two have been very active in Kashmir over the past few years and their death is a set-back to militancy in the region,'' the spokesman said.The Army identified the fourth militant as Saif Khan, a Pakistani associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of the two groups accused for an attack on the parliament in December that left 14 dead.However, an Al Fatah Force spokesman told AFP that all the four belonged to his group and said the deaths were a ''major loss'' to the separatist movement in Kashmir.Two militants and three policemen died in another fierce encounter in the village of Chambi Dard in the southern Rajouri district overnight, said a police spokesman.Another policeman was injured during the fighting that started when police moved into the village to conduct a cordon and search operation after receiving a tip-off.Meanwhile, a civilian died during an exchange of fire between militants and security forces near Baramulla town, 55 km north of Srinagar, a police spokesman said.A civilian and a militant died elsewhere in southern Kashmir, police said.


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