August 2001 News

Attack on Airport foiled, 2 ultras killed

20 August 2001
The Hindustan Times

Jammu: A MILITANT strike on Jammu airport was foiled on Monday after two militants were killed just 4 km from the airport, the police said. Two AK assault rifles, a grenade and 3 kg of explosives were also recovered from the militants. ''The militants wanted to target the Jammu airport,'' senior police official, R.S. Jharak said. Those killed were Pakistani nationals, belonging to the Lashkar-e-Tayyba. One of the dead has been identified as Abu Mir. According to police, an ambush was laid following reports that a group of intruders were attempting to cross over to the Indian side. At 3.30 am on Sunday night, a group of 5- 6 intruders were spotted and challenged by the police. Later in the ensuing firing two militants were killed while others managed to escape back. When asked whether Jammu airport was a possible target of the slain militants, DIG, Jammu, S.P. Vaid said, ''They could have struck anywhere. Jammu airport also figures on the target list of Pakistan sponsored militants.'' In the past one- month, around ten militants have been killed in the Jammu region near the international border. Interestingly, a three-tiered security web protects the international border with Pakistan making it difficult for intruders to crossover. But sources in the Border Security Force (BSF) say that intruders can sneak in through some loopholes, as the borders are not completely sealed. The close proximity of the airport to the border areas and the settlement of civil population close to the airport make it more vulnerable to militant attacks. Another reason for the airport being vulnerable to Fidayeen attack is its close proximity to the Jammu Air Force base.


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