Valley bleeds, militants kill 6 soldiers, 5 kin
23 November 2002
The Asian Age
Srinagar: Six Army men, including a captain, five of their family members and the bus driver were killed and 20 others injured on Saturday morning after militants set off an improvised explosive device on the Jammu- Srinagar highway. Among the soldiers’ family members killed in the explosion were three women and two children, the police here said. The blast took place about 100 km from Srinagar, between the lower Munda and Jawahar tunnel, and comes just a day after six CRPF jawans were killed in a suicide attack at Regal Chowk, in the heart of Srinagar. Reports said an Army bus ran over a landmine planted by militants along the 300-km highway, the only road link between the Kashmir Valley and the rest of the country, at Lower Munda. Army troops and other security force personnel travel on the highway daily, making them attractive targets for militants who have planted mines on the road before. ''Their bus hit a landmine and then tumbled down the mountain into a stream,'' said a policeman on duty. The assaults mark a new surge in violence by militants, who carried out fewer attacks immediately after Mufti Muhammad Sayeed was sworn in as chief minister on November 2. He has vowed to try to end militancy in the state by providing a ''healing touch'' by initiating a dialogue with separatists and reforming the security forces.