Minister survives militant attack
27 August 2005
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Srinagar: Forest Minister Sofi Ghulam Mohiuddin today escaped unhurt when militants fired at his motorcade in Handwara area in Kupwara district. Mohiuddin was returning to Handwara, his constituency, from Wudderbala village when the ultras struck. Elsewhere in Kashmir valley, two Lashker-e-Toiba militants were killed, while security forces recovered more than 600 kgs of explosives in Kashmir since last night, a police spokesman said today. Informed sources said that the militants attacked the Ministers motorcade at Laribal forcing his security personnel to fire back. The exchange of fire lasted a few minutes, the sources said adding there were no casualties. Undeterred by the attack, the Minister, who was on a tour of the area to acquaint himself about problems of the people, continued with his programme. Deputy Superintendent of Police (Handwara) Firdous Iqbal said the militants fired several shots at the Ministers motorcade but he escaped unhurt. Two LeT militants identified as Saifullah of Pakistan and his local accomplice Shabir Ahmad alias Zubair were killed in an encounter with security forces at Dardpora-Chaklipora village in Anantnag district last night, the spokesman said. He said a jawan was also injured in the gunbattle. An AK rifle, a carbine and some ammunition were recovered from the slain ultras. In the second major haul within 24 hours, the spokesman said security forces recovered six quintals of assorted explosives from the basement of a building in Anantnag. Acting on a tip-off, troops of Army and police recovered the explosive from the buildings basement situated behind the local bus-stand which houses the offices of Hurriyat Conference and Democratic Freedom Party led by Shabir Ahmad Shah around 1400 hours today, Defence sources said. Meanwhile, one person was arrested while the owner of the building from where the explosives were recovered is absconding, the sources said. Iftikhar Ahmad Najar has been arrested while his brother, Mohammad Sidiq Najar, who owns the building, evaded arrest during the operation and efforts are on to nab him, the sources said. This is the second major recovery of explosives in Anantnag town following yesterdays haul of 428 kgs of assorted explosive and material used in preparation of IEDs recovered by a joint party of Army and Police. A hideout was busted at Habda-Kamalkote in Uri sector of Baramulla district this morning which led to the recovery of a pistol, two magazines and 60 rounds, the spokesman added.