3 Militants, Civilian Killed In Baramulla
28 December 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: Three infiltrating militants and a civilian have died in two separate incidents of violence in Baramulla district since last evening. Defence sources told the EXCELSIOR that working on intelligence inputs, troops of 23-Rajput laid an ambush in Banwali area, in general area of Boniyar, close to LoC in Uri sector last night. In the wee hours today, troops observed the movement of some militants infiltrating into the Valley. As they were challenged to halt, militants opened fire which evoked retaliation from Army. Troops killed three militants of the group and recovered arms and ammunition, including three AK-56 rifles, from the site of the encounter. Officials said that Police received the dead bodies of three unidentified militants. Sources said that troops had extended the search operation to a vast area to look for other militants of the group. They said that the failed infiltration attempt was part of a series of intrusions of trained and armed guerrillas from PoK. These sources said that at least 500 Pakistan-trained militants had infiltrated into the Valley from different launching pads in PoK in the last six months. Even as about 100 of them were killed in different interceptions by security forces in areas close to the LoC and 120 more surrendered before Police and security forces, nearly 300 are believed to have successfully reached their destinations in the hinterland. Of them over a hundred more are believed to have been eliminated by Police and security forces in the Valley plains in different operations. Meanwhile, reports from Baramulla added that unidentified gunmen, believed to be militants, appeared at Nadihal village in Rafiabad area last evening and they called out one Shehnawaz Ahmed War S-o Sonawullah War. Shehnawaz was gunned down at first site. While militants of the area have spread word that Shehnawaz was a counter-insurgent, sources working with Army, civilians insisted that he was a former counter-insurgent who had snapped his relations with the armed forces. Some of the officials declined to deny or confirm Shehnawaz's counter-insurgent background. They said that he had died on the spot. Reports from south Kashmir said that Tata Sumo drivers did not operate passenger bus services in Shopian area following the death of a Sumo driver in a clash between militants and security forces at Rakh Littar village on Tuesday evening. As already reported, troops had hired one Mukhtar Ahmed Sheikh's Tata Sumo, allegedly forcibly. He got killed, alongwith a soldier, when militants ambushed the vehicle near Rakh Littar. Later, militant outfit Al-Mansoorain claimed to have left three soldiers dead and five more injured in the ambush. On the second consecutive day today, Tata Sumo drivers suspended operations in Pulwama-Shopian belt, raising allegation that troops had been forcibly hiring their vehicles and pushing the drivers into the jaws of death. The drivers organised a sit-in at Shopian and urged the civil administration and Police to ensure that no more vehicles were forcibly hired by troops and no more drivers got killed in such incidents. At Patlibagh, Sambora, near Pampore township, hundreds of people gathered on the road in protest against the manhandling of a sawmill owner, Noor Mohammad Bhat, by CRPF. Residents shouted slogans and demanded an end to the atrocities allegedly being perpetrated on civilians by Police and security forces. Agencies adds: A police spokesman said a hand grenade was recovered from an orchard at Naslapora village in the Central Kashmir Badgam district last evening. He said second Rashtriya Rifles apprehended a militant of Al-Badr Mohammad Yousuf Dar alongwith two Chinese hand grenades and one damaged wireless set at Wadwan Budgam. Another Al-Badr militant Mohammad Sultan Wani was arrested at Kupwara while Fayaz Ahmad of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was nabbed at Doorsa Lolab in North Kashmir alongwith two wireless sets. Troops of Baramulla Brigade arrested 9 OGWs of Lashkar-e-Toiba from Khadniyar, Jalsheri and Drangbal and recovered a huge quantity of arms and explosives from their possession, Brigadier Manjit Singh said.