NATIONAL

Two Hizb militants arrested

JAMMU, JAN. 20. The Jammu and Kashmir police today claimed to have averted a major tragedy when they arrested two militants belonging to the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen from the outskirts of Jammu city. The militants had planned to carry out subversive activities

on Republic Day including an attack on the Maulana Azad stadium where the celebrations are scheduled to be held.

Talking to newspersons this evening, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Farooq Khan, said that the militants were assigned to disrupt Republic Day celebrations in Jammu city. They had been arrested on specific information from Intelligence sources.

Identified as Mohammad Shafiq alias Shahid-ul-Islam and Bashir Ahmad alias Ubed-ul-Islam, they had reportedly sneaked into India in September last. ``With these arrests, we have saved Jammu from some major acts of terrorism and violence,'' Mr. Khan said. ``The quantity of weapons and RDX recovered from them is sufficient to cause large-scale destruction. The arrests are significant as both militants are experts in planting IEDs, and have been trained in PoK.'' He did not rule out their involvement in the recent Kanak Mandi bomb blasts.

Mr. Khan also said that the militants had dumped their explosives in the Nikki river area in the outskirts of Jammu city.

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