January 2000 News

Eight blasts in Jammu on Republic Day

26 January 2000

Eight blasts occurred around Jammu before the Republic Day celebrations, without causing any damage.

The blasts were caused by rocket propelled grenades, which exploded well away from the targets. The police said that one of the blasts caused by the rocket propelled grenades, was at some distance from the civil airport.

The police said that the grenade fell in an open field and the blast did not cause any damage. Four similar type of rocket propelled grenades fell on barren island, in river Tawi, flowing through Jammu City. The grenades were fired in the direction of Maulana Azad stadium, where Republic day celebrations were to begin, an hour later.

Three more similar explosive devices blasted in village Khour, about forty kilometers from Jammu. These were again in an open area, without causing any damage. Pro-Pakistani militant group, Hizbul-mujahedeen, claimed responsibility for these blasts. The Jammu and Kashmir Chief minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, while talking to media persons after the Republic day celebrations in Jammu said, "e;These skirmishes (with Pakistan) will take place till the main battle"e;. He said that with every passing day, Pakistan is closing the doors for peaceful and friendly ties with India. Dr. Abdullah warned that unfriendly acts by Pakistan would spell disaster for them.

The security in Jammu region is on the highest alert on such national events, ever since the series of blast occurred during Republic day celebrations, in Maulana Azad stadium, in 1995, killing nine persons and injuring scores of others. But this year the security in Jammu region was highest, in view of rising militant attacks, after the Kargil conflict last year.

According to police sources a group of militants attacked an army camp at Chapra in Poonch district, early Wednesday morning. The militants, besides firing rockets at the camp, lobbed grenades and fired from their rifles. One army soldier was killed in the attack and two others injured. The Fidayeen or suicide squad managed to escape after the attack. Pan-Islamic, Lashkar-e-toiba, militant outfit claimed the attack.

In another incident, the army shot dead two Pakistani intruders, in Hiranagar sector. The army sources said that both the intruders were trying to sneak into the Indian side, when they were challenged and shot at. Both are militants belonging to Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit.


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