8 dead as violence goes unabated in Kashmir
By Zafar Meraj
SRINAGAR: An officer of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) was killed and two soldiers injured when separatist guerrillas set off an explosion damaging a vehicle in Baramulla on Wednesday.
BSF Sub-Inspector Puran Lal died on the spot while the two soldiers accompanying him were injured when the BSF vehicle was blown up on Sopore-Sangrama road, reports reaching here said. The condition of one of the injured was reported serious. No militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, reports added.
Meanwhile Army claimed to have thwarted guerrilla plans to sabotage Republic Day celebrations in Jammu and Kashmir by nabbing four militants and seizing a huge cache of arms and explosives.
The security forces also arrested three separatist guerrillas of the Hizbul Mujahideen who were allegedly planning attacks in the run-up to Republic Day, which is observed on January 26.
Three people, including a Hizbul Mujahideen militant and a jawan, were killed in separate incidents in Jammu, where the militants also torched a truck and a house, official sources said here on Wednesday. On a tip off, security forces had launched a search operation in Rajouri district and in the ensuing encounter a militant and security personnel also lost their lives, sources said. Another militant, Abdul Majid, was also killed in an encounter in Udhampur district on Tuesday, the sources said.
AFP adds: A solo gunman in Srinagar shot dead Ghulam Hassan Chopan, whom a police source described as the former spokesman for Jaish-e-Mohammad. Chopan, a resident of the northern Kupwara district, was staying in a state-owned building in Srinagar’s Bemina area with his wife, police said. A police source said Chopan was codenamed Abu Gazali when he served Jaish-e-Mohammad. He was arrested by security forces and after his release last month sought to resume a normal life with his wife, police said.