The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Militants switch gun for poison

Jammu, June 22: For the first time since militancy erupted in the state, rebels have killed two persons by injecting a poisonous substance.

Though the poison is yet to be identified, security sources suspect the killings in Poonch indicate the militantsí access to biological weapons.

Rani Begum of Surankot and Feroz Din of Hari Marhote were picked up separately and taken to a jungle where they were injected with the poison. They died immediately.

Rani Begum, the wife of an assassinated Congress leader, and Feroz, a mason, were killed probably on the suspicion of them being informers for security forces, police say.

Feroz was killed in the same area where last weekend 10 militants were killed by the police.

Police sources said Feroz, who had helped the militants build a concrete hideout that was busted on June 14, might have been suspected of revealing its location to the security forces.

Police said they were looking into the new phenomenon of killings by poisonous injections.

The new method of killing has raised two serious concerns for the security forces.

First, they will find it more difficult to identify, intercept and apprehend militants who possess poisonous injections.

Second, militants would be difficult to trace immediately after they have committed the silent crime.

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