Three Suspected Ultras Killed, Four Civilians Hurt In J & K
14 February 2006
Srinagar: Security forces killed three suspected Islamic guerrillas in a gun battle on Tuesday, while four civilians were wounded in a separate grenade blast in the Indian portion of Kashmir, police said. Soldiers raided a suspected rebel hide-out in the remote village of Sumlar after receiving a tip. An ensuing gun battle left three suspected guerrillas dead, police officer Junaid Ahmad, said. The slain guerrillas belonged to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, one of nearly dozen Islamic rebel groups fighting in the Indian portion of Kashmir, Ahmad said. His claim could not be independently verified. Sumlar is about 75 kilometers (45 miles) north of Srinagar, the summer capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state. Separately, a grenade thrown by suspected insurgents missed a police patrol, but wounded four civilian passers-by when it exploded in Sopore, a town nearly 50 kilometers (30 miles) north of Srinagar, Ahmad said. In still another incident, the army recovered a missile, rockets, guns, hand grenades and hundreds of bullets from an underground storage area in the remote forests in the Kupwara district, said Lt. Col. V. K. Batra, an army spokesman. Separatist rebels have been fighting since 1989 for the Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan. More than 67,000 people have been killed in the conflict.