August 2000 News

Brigadier, Colonel Killed In Kashmir Blast

21 August 2000
Shujaat Bukhari

Srinagar: In a devastating landmine explosion triggered by militants in north Kashmir, two senior Army officers and a driver were killed and five soldiers injured. In another attack in Banihal, three soldiers were killed and fifteen injured. Reports reaching Srinagar said the sector commander of the Rashtriya Rifles, Brig. P. S. Shergill, was moving along with Col. Rajinder Chauhan in a vehicle towards Handwara, about 50 km from Srinagar, at about 4.30 p.m. As the vehicle reached Zachaldara village, militants detonated the landmine planted on the road. The vehicle was blown up killing the Brigadier and his deputy on the spot. At least five soldiers were injured. They were taken to the local hospital and then shifted to Srinagar. The condition of some of them is critical. The impact of the blast was such that the vehicle was smashed to smithereens. The other vehicles in the convoy were also damaged. Since the area is far off from Srinagar, the details about the casualties were not immediately available. The defence authorities in Srinagar were also not available for comments. Senior officers of the Army, para-military forces and police rushed to the spot along with large contingents of troops and cordoned off the area. No militant outfit has claimed responsibility but foreign militant organisations are said to be responsible for the action, according to officials here. This is the first time in the last three years that an officer of the rank of Brigadier has been killed in a militant action. In a similar incident, militants attacked an Army camp in Banihal on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway. They fired a number of rockets towards the camp killing at least three soldiers and injuring fifteen. Reports said the building was extensively damaged in the attack. The Hizb-ul-Mujahideen has owned the responsibility for the attack and claimed that scores of armymen had been killed.


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