April 2003 News

Suicide bombers hit Srinagar radio

26 April 2003
The Daily Times
Zafar Meraj

SRINAGAR: Fresh violence by suspected militants, including a suicide attack on a state-owned radio station in IHK has left 14 people dead and 10 security personnel injured.Two Indian security men and three militants were killed Saturday in an attack on the Radio Kashmir office in the heart of Srinagar. Seven other security personnel were injured in the attack. Police said three militants in a white car disguised as a police vehicle drove past the radio station several times before accelerating towards the building's main gate. They detonated the car laden with explosives near the gate killing a policeman, before they tried to storm the building in the confusion that ensued.Troops deployed in and around the radio station opened fire killing one of the militants, while the other two ran away. 'They were engaged in a gun battle by the security forces in which both of them were killed,' said a spokesman for India's Border Security Force (BSF). A BSF trooper was also killed during the gunfight, he said. Officials said it was suicide attack as at least two of the militants had grenades strapped to their bodies. A little- known militant group, the Al Madina regiment, claimed responsibility for the attack in telephone calls to local newspapers and identified the suicide squad as Farhat Askari, Shabir Usmani and Muslim Farooqi. A police spokesman said three militants were killed near the LoC. An Indian army soldier was also killed. A militant, Muhammad Ayubi, was shot dead in another encounter in Poonch. Three more militants were killed in Baramulla and Kupwara. Three soldiers were injured in a powerful mine explosion in Khumriyal.Agencies add The government in Held Kashmir said Saturday it had banned from dusk to dawn the movement of residents living in a frontier district bordering Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). Two illegally detained APHC leaders, Muhammad Yousaf Mujahid and Hakeem Abdur Rasheed, have been shifted from India's Jodhpur Jail to an interrogation centre in Srinagar.Syed Ali Gillani who on Saturday returned to Held Kashmir after 10 months in detention and hospital pledged to continue his struggle for the region's secession from India.Pakistan told to stop infiltration PowellNEW DELHI US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Saturday his government has repeatedly asked Pakistan to stop militants from crossing into Held Kashmir, but with mixed results. 'We have spoken clearly and directly to our Pakistani colleagues on many occasions about the need to eliminate actions across the Line of Control (LoC).' Powell told India's Star News channel from Washington. 'It has been a mixed result ... and we continue to press them at every opportunity,' Powell said. 'We have seen it (cross-border infiltration) go up, we have seen it come down and we are anxious to see it go down and stay down.' 'We believe that cross-LOC activity is not conducive to finding a peaceful solution to the problems of the region,' Powell said Saturday. Powell said he did not envision any military action in the Indian subcontinent to root out 'terrorism.' 'The US is committed to fighting terrorism... but I cannot envision any circumstances in which any US military might be used in the subcontinent,' he said. Contacts Musharraf Powell also phoned President Musharraf on Friday and discussed matters of regional and world interest with him.- Agencies


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