Security Forces Kill 17 Militants In J&K
6 June 2005
Srinagar: Stepping up anti-militant drive, security forces shot dead 17 ultras including a self-styled divisional commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in separate encounters in Jammu and Kashmir, where five civilians were also killed since last night, police and defence spokesmen said here today. The divisional commander of JeM, Shahji, was killed along with his four associates in an encounter with a joint search party of police and security forces at Kalas-Kus in Rajouri district of Jammu region last night, the spokesman said. He said five AK rifles, five magazines, 30 rounds and a wireless set were recovered from the killed militants. A defence spokesman said four militants were killed in a fierce gunbattle, lasting nearly five hours, at Galkloo-Arigam in Garoora area of Bandipora in Baramulla district today. While three militants were killed in the initial fight which broke out at around 9 am during house-to-house searches, another fell to the bullets around 2 pm, the spokesman said. The police spokesman identified three of the deceased as Pakistani militant Irshad Ahmad Khan of JeM and Naseer Ahmad and Javed Ahmad Lone of Hizbul Mujahideen group. Three AK rifles, 14 magazines, 438 rounds, an under barrel grenade launcher (UBGL) and eight hand-grenades were recovered from the slain ultras. Four more militants of al-Badr outfit were killed in an encounter during search operations at Awatkul in Kupwara district yesterday. A huge cache of arms and ammunition, including a 6-mm mortar gun, four rifles and 10 mortar shells were recovered from them, the spokesman said. He said security forces killed three militants in an encounter at Nika Manjari in Mendhar area of Poonch district today. In another encounter, the spokesman said, security forces shot dead a Pakistani militant of Lashker-e-Toiba Yasin alias Abu Masood Gaznavi at Panara- Basantgarh in Udhampur district eerly tday. A universal machine gun with 100 rounds, three AK rifles, a wireless set, a hand-grenade and some ammunition were recovered from him. In a case of mistaken identity, troops of Rashtriya Rifles shot dead an elderly person in Badgam district today, sparking protests by locals, official sources said. Rashtriya Rifles troops had laid an ambush in Narwarah village following information about possible movement of militants. As 60- year-old Mohammad Ramzan Dar left his house to offer morning prayers, they mistook him as a militant and opened fire, killing him instantly, the sources said. The killing evoked widespread protests as locals took to streets demanding action against the erring personnel. However, the protestors dispersed after Additional Deputy Commissioner, Badgam, visited the area and assured them that he will take up the matter with Army authorities. Bodies of 27-year-old Public Health Engineering (PHE) employee Hardev Singh and 65-year- old Kulsooma Begum were recovered from Hiranagar in Kathua district and Ramban in Doda district respectively yesterday, the sources said. Two more bodies, one of them identified as Nageshwar Swami of Andhra Pradesh, were recovered by police in Jammu city yesterday. Investigations into cause of death in all the cases are going on, the sources said.