Sunday, March 23
Hizb rebel Dar shot at Sopore house
Blow to peace: Vohra’s talks likely to suffer, setback to Mufti
Muzamil Jaleel, Indian Express

Sopore, March 23: The militant commander who had held out an olive branch to the Centre and raised hopes of a dialogue, Abdul Majeed Dar, was today shot dead at his home here. Two gunmen barged in and opened indiscriminate fire, killing him on the spot and injuring his mother and sister before fleeing.

Dar, the then operations chief of the pro-Pakistan Hizbul Mujahideen in Kashmir, had announced a ‘‘unilateral’’ ceasefire in August 2000 and even held parleys with New Delhi. But the peace mission faced rough weather when the Hizbul’s Pak-based supreme commander, Syed Salahuddin, decided to withdraw the offer, creating differences in the outfit’s leadership

Dar and a small group of his loyalists stood by his new peace slogan, leading to his expulsion from the Hizbul in May last year.

A Jamaat-e-Islami activist and a pioneer of Kashmir’s militant movement, Dar had founded Tehreek-e-Jihadi Islami — a pro-Pakistan militant outfit which dominated north Kashmir in the early nineties. He had later merged his group with the Hizbul Mujahideen, particularly since the ideological base of both his group and the Hizbul were similar.

‘‘He had come to say goodbye to us as he was supposed to leave for Pakistan soon,’’ Dar’s brother, Fayaz Ahmad, said. ‘‘He met his mother and other family members and wanted to leave but I forced him to stay longer. I wanted him to have lunch with us. I went to the market and returned after hearing the gunshots.’’ [...]

'Unilaterals,' Crossing the Lines
Reporters Who Venture Out on Their Own Can Find the Going Deadly
Richard Leiby, Washington Post Staff Writer, March 23, 2003

KUWAIT CITY, March 22--"Do not move," Maj. Dave Anderson, a burly U.S. Marine, barked into his cell phone. "Stay under cover. Stay down. We have your grid coordinates."

Anderson wasn't giving orders to a fellow Marine -- he was trying to assist a journalist under fire somewhere in the south of Iraq. "Do you have any family you want us to notify?"[...]

...Should reporters risk their lives to get a story?

Stuck behind the front lines, frustrated and bored, scores of independent journalists -- dubbed "unilaterals" by coalition commanders -- have poured into Iraq without official consent. The Kuwaiti government says that's illegal.

Is it? "At a minimum, it's not very bright," Army Col. Guy Shields, director of the Coalition Press Information Center, said at a briefing tonight.

An unspecified number of enterprising reporters forged Kuwaiti permission letters or otherwise cajoled their way past checkpoints into the war zone. Now they're being shot at, straying into minefields and apparently getting killed.

The casualties evidently include three members of a British ITV television team reported missing by their employers. In his somber briefing, Shields confirmed that three reporters in southern Iraq were either killed or seriously injured today. He repeatedly rebuked the unilaterals for "sneaking" into Iraq, but many reporters say they were waved through by friendly U.S. or British troops, then followed convoys operating near Umm Qasr, Basra and other front-line areas.

"I just want to keep people safe," Shields said, sounding genuinely concerned as well as irritated. "A battlefield is not safe."[...]
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