11 ultras, 1 civilian killed in J&K violence

Associated Press

Srinagar, April 22:

Government forces killed 11 suspected Islamic militants in clashes in Kashmir, army and police officials said today. An overnight gunbattle left five suspected rebels dead in Bakhi-Hakar, a remote village about 95 km north of Srinagar, an army spokesman Lt Col VK Batra said. Security forces did not suffer any casualties, he said. Government forces killed another four suspected insurgents in a separate gunbattle in Teki-Rampur, a village north of Srinagar, police said. Elsewhere, two militants were killed in a gunbattle late yesterday night in the mountainous Punch district in southwestern Kashmir, said Col DK Badola, an army spokesman in Jammu. The militants were seen crossing the cease-fire line that divides Kashmir from the Pakistani side into India, opening fire when they were challenged by an Indian patrol, Badola said. Also today, police found the body of Abdul Ghani, a local resident, in a fruit orchard on the outskirts of Kellar, a village south of Srinagar, a police officer said on condition of anonymity. Ghani was abducted a day earlier by suspected rebels and shot and killed early today, the officer said. Police blamed Islamic rebels for the slaying. The militant attacks have continued despite last week’s talks between Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who vowed to settle the decades-old dispute over Kashmir.