Soldier Killed, 12 Injured In Kangan
19 September 2007
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: One soldier got killed and 10 more sustained injuries when militants ambushed an Army convoy in Kangan area on Srinagar-Leh highway. Suspected militants have meanwhile gunned down a former militant in Pattan and kidnapped a junior official of R&B Department in Budgam area. Informed sources told EXCELSIOR that militants ambushed a military convoy, which was on way from Srinagar to Leh, at Hari Ganwan, 15 Kms ahead of Kangan, at 1000 hours today. As four to five militants, hiding in maize fields close to the highway, directed heavy volume of gunfire on three deluxe coaches carrying the troops, nine soldiers, including a JCO, sustained injuries. A quick reaction team, escorting the convoy, retaliated but the militants managed to escape without suffering any damage. One soldier of CRPF 158 Bn, who was on the ROP duty at the spot, lost his fingers in the encounter. Later, Havildar Sri Kumar Roy of 6-11 GR, who was a resident of eastern Nepal, succumbed to injuries. Sources said that four of the seriously injured soldiers were airlifted and admitted to Army's 92- Base Hospital in Srinagar. Defence spokesman, Lt Col A K Mathur, said that all the four soldiers, under treatment at Base Hospital, were stable. He said that one soldier got killed and four others injured in the gunbattle. However, SP Ganderbal, Abdul Razaq, said that one soldier got killed and seven more, including a CRPF personnel, sustained injuries. He insisted that all the four injured were out of danger and responding to treatment. Spokesman of Lashkar- e-Toiba, Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi, said that the convoy was ambushed by the militants of his organisation in a high security zone in broad daylight. He claimed that 10 soldiers got killed and 15 others wounded in the gunbattle which, according to him, lasted for over two hours. He said that the militants used AK-47 rifles, grenades and rocket launchers in today's ambush on the Army convoy. Sources said that immediately after the shootout subsided, security forces conducted a search operation in the nearby orchards, maize fields and a number of residential clusters but could not get any clue regarding the presence of militants. Reports from north Kashmir said that suspected militants appeared at Shirpora in Pattan area of Baramulla district late last evening and they shot dead a former militant, Bashir Ahmed Wani S-o Habibullah Wani. He had been arrested by armed forces and released from a jail these days last year. Sources said that unidentified gunmen appeared at Paimus Pathanpora in Budgam district and they kidnapped a junior official of R&B Department, namely Habibullah Malik S-o Khizar Mohammad Malik, from his home. Police had failed to trace him till late this evening.