September 2001 News

Four jawans killed, 19 injured in J&K landmine blast

6 September 2001
The Pioneer
Binoo Joshi

Jammu: Four army jawans were killed and 19, including two civilians, injured in a massive landmine explosion triggered by militants at Digdol, 166 kms from here, on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on Thursday.According to an Army spokesman, a civilian bus, hired by the Army, was on its way from Srinagar to Jammu carrying around 30 jawans. When the bus reached Digdol on the mountainous highway, a powerful landmine explosion struck it. The spokesman said the explosion left four jawans killed on the spot while 19 others were injured. The injured included the driver and conductor of the bus. The injured have been shifted to Army hospitals. The blast toll might go higher as condition of five injured was stated to be critical. According to the spokesman, the bus was totally damaged in the blast. The explosives could have been planted just before the Army traffic was to pass the area. The explosion was triggered by a remote control, the spokesman said. Jammu-Srinagar National Highway is prone to militants attack. The Road Opening Party of the Army clears the road for a security convoy. But, at times, landmines go undetected as they are planted by the side of the road, or just before the convoy movement. Militants have hideouts on the mountains overlooking the highway, making it easy for them to target the security convoy.In another landmine explosion, two jawans of the Border Security Force (BSF) were seriously injured in Mahore in Udhampur district. According to police, one of them died later. Hizbul Mujahedeen, a pro- Pakistan militant outfit, has claimed responsibility for both the explosions. Hizb spokesman Salim Hashmi claimed that at least 12 soldiers were killed in the blast on the national highway.Meanwhile, police and security forces have launched search operations in the area to nab the culprits behind the blast.


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