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1 jawan, civilian killed in terrorist ambush

Terrorists also triggered a landmine blast in Baramullah on Wednesday, causing injuries to two civilians, reports Rashid Ahmad.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2006 19:50 IST

Terrorists ambushed a private vehicle, carrying soldiers, at Litter village in south Kashmir's Pulwama district and killed a jawan and driver of the vehicle on Tuesday evening. Two civilians were also injured in the incident.

Terrorists also triggered a landmine blast in Baramullah on Wednesday, causing injuries to two civilians.

Police said that a heavily armed group of terrorists opened fire on a posse of troops belonging to 55-RR, who were travelling in a Tata Sumo (JK-03-8522) at Rakh near Litter village on Tuesday evening. "One soldier and driver of the vehicle Mukhtar Ahmad Shaikh, a resident of Shopian, were killed in the incident", said a police spokesperson. He said that two civilians were also injured in the incident.

Al Mansoorain terrorist group owned responsibility for the attack. A caller identifying himself as spokesperson of the outfit claimed that five soldiers were killed in the attack.

The Shopian town on Wednesday observed a strike when the news of Sumo driver's killing reached there. Hundreds of residents joined his funeral procession. The local taxi stand also remained closed in protest against the "forcible occupation of private vehicles by the army". An office-bearer of the taxi stand alleged that troops had forced Mukhtar Ahmad to carry then to Litter, where they came under attack from terrorists.

The residents of Aglar village, which is adjacent to Rakh Litter, where terrorists ambushed the vehicle, allege that troops cracked down on the village and beat them up. They also alleged that around 30 residents were injured in the troops' action. Hospital sources in Pulwama confirmed that 11 residents were brought to the hospital with injury.

Army rejected the allegation out rightly. Lt Col Atul Malhotra, spokesperson of Victor Force told the Hindustan Times that these allegations were "motivated" and "baseless". He also denied the allegation of snatching private vehicles. "The troops have clear instructions not to travel in private vehicles," he said.

Malhotra said that the troops had not forcibly taken away the Sumo taxi on Tuesday. "They (troops) were returning from an operation, and had sought lift from the Sumo driver. The vehicle came under fire from terrorists at Litter during which casualties were caused," he said.

Terrorists triggered IED blast on the main road near Degree College in Baramullah on Wednesday. Police said that two civilians got minor injuries in the incident. Hizbul Mujahideen claimed responsibility.

First Published: Dec 27, 2006 18:45 IST