Heavy shelling in Kargil; Exodus to safer areas
5 October 2001
Srinagar: At least fifty families have migrated to safer places from Kargil following a fresh spell of shelling from Pakistani troops, sources said. Pakistani artillery resorted to shelling in Kaksararea, 30 kilometers from Kargil on Srinagar-Leh road on Friday afternoon. The heavy shelling disrupted the movement of Army and civilian traffic. Sources said Indian troops retaliated the fire and cross-border shelling continued throughout the day. However, no casualties took place. The heavy exchange of fire between troops from both sides has triggered exodus of residents in Latoo, Kaksar and Budgam villages, sources said. Meanwhile, security forces continued their offensive against militants in Kashmir valley and killed seven militants during various encounters since Thursday evening. An official spokesman said in Srinagar that three unidentified militants were gunned down by security forces at Wusan village in Kunzer pocket of Baramulla on Thursday night. The militants were killed when security forces cordoned off the area following a tip off about presence of militants in a hideout there. As the troops zeroed in on the hideout, the militants fired a volley of bullets. The fire was returned leading to a fierce encounter, which lasted for three hours. The militant hideout was also razed to cinders in the ensuing encounter. Two militants got killed in another gun-battle at Kachama village near Hadwara in northern Kupwara district. The encounter took place when a party of security forces was fired upon by militants hiding in the area. A large quantity of arms and ammunition including 2 AK series rifles and 4 magazines were recovered from the militants gunned down in the repulsive attack. In another incident, Army personnel killed two militants during an encounter at a forward post on Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector, the spokesman said. However, the details of encounter were not available. Hundreds of people took to streets at Sheikhpora in central district Budgam and demonstrated against Special Operations Group (SOG) of the State police for allegedly killing a youth, Showkat Ahmad Sheikh, early on Friday.