3 militants killed in Poonch, civilian hurt
9 July 2004
The Daily Excelsior
Daily Excelsior Correspondent
Jammu: Security forces today gunned down three militants including a Pakistani and two locals of Surankote in an encounter at village Chakthroo in Mandi sector in Poonch district while a civilian was injured when he tried to escape from the custody of Army in Kandi area of Budhal in Rajouri district. Official sources said a joint team of Army and police observed movement of three militants near Kalani bridge in Chakthroo area of Mandi sector last mid-night when they were reportedly shifting their hideout. Sources said the militants started fleeing towards a forest area after they spotted the security personnel. In the process, one of the militants drowned in a flooded nullah at Chakthroo while two others were trapped. In the heavy exchange of firing for next one hour, both the militants were killed. Security forces didnít suffer any casualties in the operation. The killed militants have been identified as Abu Shaheen of Karachi, Pakistan, Mohd Iqbal R-o Malhan, Surankote and Abdul Rafeeq R-o Siala, Surankote. Two AK-47 rifles, 10 magazines, two wireless sets, one pistol, four hand grenades, Rs 850 in Pakistan currency and some documents were recovered from the slain militants, the sources said, adding the ultras belonged to the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit. Meanwhile, a suspect Abdul Gani, 22, son of Mohd Yusuf, a resident of Gurha Sarkari in Kandi area of Budhal was picked-up by the security forces last night following a tip off that he had links with the militant outfits. Sources said Abdul Gani was subjected to sustained interrogation during which he disclosed location of a hideout of the militants in Kandi area. He was taken to the hideout by the security personnel from where a consignment was recovered which included five anti-personnel mines (APMs), 10 detonators, two magazines, 247 rounds, four UBGL grenades, one plastic grenade and some other items. However, after the recoveries, Abdul Gani tried to escape. He was warned by the security forces and asked to surrender but he kept on running. Sources said he was shot at and injured by the security personnel. Later, he was admitted in the district hospital at Rajouri. Meanwhile, another encounter between the security forces and the militants was going on at village Timra in Mandi sector. However, till the reports last came in, no casualties had been reported on either side.