LeT, HM ultras clash again; 3 killed, 3 hurt
17 December 2002
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: The terrorists of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) again clashed in the upper reaches of Warwan in Doda district last night resulting into the killings of three LeT activists and injuries to four others. This was third clash between the two outfits in the same area during last six months in which a total of 11 terrorists of both the groups have been killed. In another incident, the Special Operations Group (SOG) and police killed a terrorist of Shakeel Ansari group in Bani area of Doda district last night. Five other ultras, however, escaped during the exchange of gun-battle. SSP Doda Saji Mohan said the activists of LeT and HM outfits led by their Ďarea commandersí clashed last night at Warwan under Marwah police stationís jurisdiction. Since Warwan hills were predominantly a Hizbul stronghold, atleast three LeT activists were killed in the clash, whose bodies were recovered by a police party this morning. Circumstantial evidence revealed that three to four terrorists were injured in the encounter but they managed to escape alongwith other ultras. He said the slain terrorists have been identified as Hussain Lala alias Abu Bakar R-o Warwan and Bashir Ahmed alias Assadullah R-o Ghumari, Warwan and Saifullah, a Pakistani, all Lashkar activists. No recoveries were made from their possession. Their weapons were reportedly taken away by their fleeing associates. Police and security forces have launched a search operation in Warwan hills to apprehend the terrorists of both the outfits, who escaped after the clash. Four days back, the terrorists of both the outfits had clashed in the same area. A Ďdeputy commanderí of LeT outfit Assadullah was shot dead by Hizbul activists in the clash. Two recent clashes were in retaliation to a clash in Warwan in June this year in which the Lashkar cadres had eliminated six Hizbul terrorists. One LeT activist had also got killed in retaliation. Sources couldnít say as to what could be the reasons behind rivalry of the two groups. They suspected that operational control of the area, financial disputes or harassing of local women by the foreign mercenaries were likely to be the reasons behind the clashes. In a search operation at village Appan in Marwah this morning, security forces recovered one Chinese hand grenade, 21 AK rounds and one pouch from the house of Farooq Ahmed, an overground harbourer of Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist. Meanwhile, a patrol party of SOG and police intercepted a group of six terrorists at Barnota nullah in Bani area of Kathua district last night. A heavy exchanges of firing took place between both the groups in which one terrorist was killed. Other ultras managed to escape. In the morning, enforcement of security forces and police rushed to the spot and started a hunt for the fleeing terrorists. However, they remained untraced. Slain terrorist has been identified as Khursheed Ahmed Dar alias Shahbaaz son of Ghulam Hassan R-o Marmat Bahoter, Doda. He was an activist of Hizbul Mujahideenís Shakeel Ansari group and was operating as outfitís Ďarea commanderí for Bani-Khaned. Recoveries made from his possession included one AK rifle, three magazines, one wireless set and one live grenade. In another incident, the terrorists struck into the house of a civilian Mohd Rafi son of Mohd Afzal at village Saj under jurisdiction of Thanna Mandi police station in Rajouri district. They questioned Mohd Rafi for about 10 minutes and then fired upon him. Afzal was seriously injured in the encounter and has been shifted to the district hospital, Rajouri. Terrorists escaped after the shoot-out. A police party from Thanna Mandi visited the spot for investigations. No arrest has been made so far.