November 2001 News

Search on for militants who ambushed convoy

19 November 2001
The Times of India

SRINAGAR: Security troops have launched a massive hunt for militants in Kashmir who ambushed an army convoy killing 19 soldiers and injuring 30 others, a defence spokesman said on Monday.Four civilians and two militants involved in the ambush were also killed when the Indian army retaliated against the guerrilla attack late Sunday, the spokesman said. Ten soldiers died on the spot when the heavily armed attackers opened fire on the army convoy with assault rifles, machine guns and grenades, as it was travelling along the Jammu-Srinagar highway.''The condition of eight more soldiers continues to be serious,'' he added. The Indian army, assisted by counter-insurgency police and paramilitary border guards, launched massive searches in the area where the attack took place in Ramban, 155 km south of Srinagar.The troops also sealed off a large stretch of the 300-km highway connecting Srinagar and Jammu. ''More troops have been deployed on the road to prevent a recurrence of such attacks,'' an official said. But he said it was impossible for the security forces to man the entire stretch of the road.''They are searching for the militants in the jungle as most of the gunfire came from a hilltop,'' the spokesman said, adding that the search operation would continue all day.Indian troops were also questioning local people for clues to lead them to the militants, he added.The Pakistan-based Lashkar-e- Taiba militant group claimed responsibility for the attack, but said those who carried out the ambush had managed to escape safely.


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