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July 20, 1999
19 massacred in J&K
Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar
Nineteen people including four Border Roads Organisation officials have been massacred in two separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir.
At least 15 Hindu villagers including eight women were killed by a group of heavily armed militants at village Lahote Thathri in the troubled Doda district last night.
Sources said the militants barged into the villagers' houses and sprayed bullets killing 15 civilians who were asleep.
Six villagers who were critically wounded have been moved to the Doda district hospital. Their condition is stated to be critical.
Sources said that district police chief Munerr Khan along with reinforcements has reached Thatri. As the area is inaccessible, the police officers and troops have to move on foot.
In another incident, four officials of the Border Roads Organisation were killed when militants attacked them in their camp at village Sadichohana near Surankote in Poonch district during the wee hours today.
The police said the officials were dragged out of their camp and killed. The victims were identified as Anil Srivastava, Philip Mathew, Thaplayal and Sunil Kohli.
Another officer Rakash Singh who was injured in the shooting was shifted to a hospital and his condition is stated to be critical.
No one has yet owned responsibility for the massacres.
Senior district officials of Poonch have rushed to the spot. Troops have cordoned off the area around the camp and searches have been mounted.
The state authorities have already requested the Centre to rush more paramilitary forces to beef up the security.
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