Clashes in the Valley claim 32 lives
5 March 2002
The Times of India
SRINAGAR: At least 32 people, including 22 suspected militants, were killed in clashes as violence gathered momentum in Kashmir, a police spokesman said on Tuesday.Three people were killed on Tuesday as terrorists holed-up in civilian homes exchanged heavy gunfire with troops in northern Kashmir, the spokesman said.''A civilian, a militant and a policemen died in the encounter,'' he said, adding six security personnel were injured, including an Army major.The gunfight erupted late on Monday after the police raided a hideout in Baramulla, 55 km north of Srinagar.Troops in a separate raid on Tuesday shot dead three militants in northern Kupwara district, bordering Pakistan- occupied Kashmir, the spokesman said in Srinagar.He said another militant belonging to the Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist group was gunned down in the neighbourhood by troops. Jaish is one of the two Pakistan- based militant groups India accuses of attacking its Parliament last December.Militants also murdered four civilians in Rajouri district late on Monday night, the official said. So far, none of Kashmir''s militant groups has claimed responsibility for the attack.In two separate clashes between Indian soldiers and militants in Rajouri district, eight militants and four Army personnel were killed late on Monday.Seven more suspected rebels were gunned down near the militant stronghold of Naushera town, 425 km south of Srinagar, and in nearby areas.Two more civilians and two heavily-armed militants were killed elsewhere in Kashmir over the past 24 hours, police said.The death toll from the fighting during the past 24 hours in Kashmir is the highest in the region since January when Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf announced a crackdown against religious extremists, including those operating in Kashmir.