In two encounters, two soldiers, including a Major, and two militants were killed in south Kashmir on Thursday.Three soldiers received bullet injuries during an anti-militancy operation launched at Imam Sahab, Shopian around 2:30 a.m. “There was specific inputs about the presence of militants in Matribugh, Zoipora village. As security forces zeroed in, the militants hiding there opened fire, injuring two security personnel,” said a police official.The injured soldiers, Major Kamlash Pandey and Sepoys Tanjin Chhutin and Kripal Singh, were shifted to the Army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar for treatment. “However, two soldiers, including the Major, died of their injuries. The condition of another injured is stated to be critical,” said the police official.Sources said around three militants managed to escape from the encounter site in the cover of darkness.In a statement issued in Srinagar, Hizb-ul-Mujahudeen claimed the responsibility for the Shopian attack. “Field operational commander congratulates the militants and announced cash reward for them,” it said.In the adjacent Kulgam district, the police said, security forces killed two militants in Gopalpora, Damhal-Hanjipora. Two AK-47 rifles were recovered from them. “One of the militants was involved in the killing of five policemen and bank guards at Pambay, Kulgam,” said the police. Initial reports suggest the militants could be Aqib and Suhail, both locals.The authorities have suspended the mobile Internet service in south Kashmir.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will cheer the Indian hockey team which clashes with world champion Australia in the Commonwealth Games final at the Dhyan Chand Stadium here on October 14.Singh will watch the match in the company of former Olympians, PMO sources said.UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul had cheered the Indian hockey team at the same venue where it had thrashed Pakistan 7-3 and entered semifinals. In the semis, India defeated England in a tie-breaker yesterday.Singh was present at the dazzling opening ceremony of the Games along with President Pratibha Patil and Prince Charles.