Three Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants were killed in a night long encounter in Pulwama. Their charred bodies were recovered on Thursday morning.Police sources said all three trapped militants, who engaged the security forces in a gunfight on Wednesday night, were killed in a house. The house of a civilian was completely damaged in the encounter as it caught fire.The slain militants were identified as Majid, Irshad and Shariq. Two rifles have been recovered from encounter site. All killed militants were locals. One of the three militants is a teenager, aged around 14.The fresh killing takes the toll of slain militants to five in the past 24 hours.PTI adds…The encounter lasted for over six hours.Majid Dar, one of the slain militants, was involved in a number of killings, including that of sarpanch of Kakapora and district president of Pulwama, a police official said here.This is the first successful counter-insurgency operation in Pulwama area, which is believed to have large presence of local militants aided with a strong-network of over ground workers, he said.The successful operation is a big blow to the LeT terror outfit, which recently lost its commander Junaid Mattoo in an encounter at Arwin village in Anantnag district of South Kashmir on June 17, he added.This is the second successful operation against the terror outfit within three days.On Wednesday, two militants were killed in an encounter in Sopore township of Baramulla district in north Kashmir.
The sea of red and white which over the past month had become a hallmark of the Commonwealth Games in the city may have slowly faded away after the closing ceremony, but the group of young volunteers are finding it hard to let go.The hard work put in by volunteers was a major reason for the success of the recent Commonwealth GamesDressed in their bright red trackpants and white windcheater uniforms, the young brigade found dotting the city assisting at stadiums and press tribunes across the Games venues here are bidding goodbye to the mega event, which was more than just a sporting event for them.”The Games brought people from diverse backgrounds together and the amount of time we spent together during the last 20 days formed a strong bond of friendship between us, thus this very moment is very painful for me,” says Neha, one of the volunteers. Many like Neha joined the volunteer bandwagon for fun but seem to have taken away an experience they say will cherish forever.”Initially I thought it was just a worthless job but the whole experience has been very rewarding… I can now tell my grandchildren that I was a volunteer at the 2010 Games,” says another collegiate. Their attachment to the whole set-up is such that many want the show to continue infinitely!”We simply didn’t want the Games to end, we wanted to keep working as long as we can,” said Sarika, an army officer’s wife who as a volunteer organised sight-seeing trips for foreign athletes. The thrill of being in the vicinity of star athletes has been one of the few attractions of the job that usually involved 8-10 hours of hard work per day.advertisement”We got to interact with lots of people – athletes, officials, and the media. For me, the best moment was when I stood at an arm’s distance from star boxer Vijender Singh,” she said.”The other day I guided gold medallist Somdev Devvarman to his team bus,” said Ankur Vasudeva, an engineering student who was attached to the British Virgin Islands contingent. Wearing a green team jersey of the island nation, he said: “The Chef-de Mission gifted this shirt to me.”The 22,000 strong volunteer workforce found a special mention in the speeches of Commonwealth Games Federation chief Michael Fennell and Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi at the closing ceremony. Even the foreign athletes recognised their work and were all praise for their dedicated and unflinching service.”They (volunteers) did a great job, in them India had a really big asset which was put to good use. I don’t think the Games would have done well without them,” said Ratu Maafua, a rugby player from Tonga.Meanwhile, the volunteers clicked loads of pictures with fellow workers and foreign athletes to ensure that even if the memories fade, they can be relived and refreshed anytime. “I have made friends with lots of volunteers and they also helped us a lot in the daily work,” said Abbey Burton, an English trap shooter.However, as they say there is always a next time, many volunteers are banking on the success of the Delhi Commonwealth Games for India to bag an Olympics very soon. “I hope India gets a chance to host the 2020 Olympics and no matter what, I shall be the first person to enroll as a volunteer,” says Jatin Kalra of Maharishi Dayanand University. Jatin also hopes that social networking would enable him to stay in touch with the new friends he made during his volunteer posting at the Games Village Press Centre.”Facebook haina uske liye (Facebook can be used for that),” the computer engineering student adds. Other volunteers like Sushant, who was involved with press operations, say they plan to use the experience as building blocks in their careers. “I am going for a good holiday now … When I get back I plan to get involved with the media management of Games,” he says.Sampat Kumar says he plans to go back to college and then hunt for a job. “I have learnt to speak English and am confident of giving interviews,” he says.–With inputs from PTI
Rafael Nadal won the French Open title for the ninth time, and the fifth time in a row, by beating Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 on Sunday in the final.Spain’s Rafael Nadal returns the ball during the final of the French Open tennis tournament against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Sunday, June 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)Nadal improved his record at Roland Garros to 66-1, and stretched his winning streak at the clay-court major to 35 straight.But it didn’t look too good at the start for the top-seeded Spaniard. Djokovic won the first set and looked to be in control of nearly every point. The combination of Nadal finding his range and the heat on court, however, started to take its toll on the second-seeded Serb.Both players used ice-filled towels to cool themselves during changeovers, but Djokovic also looked like he vomited a bit as he was heading for the first changeover in the fourth set.Djokovic also appeared out of sorts in the third set. Trailing 3-0, he wobbled as he went to take his seat on the bench for the changeover. And in the final set, with Nadal leading 5-4, Djokovic poured cold water on his head and on each forearm in an effort to cool off.Nadal was broken once in the first set, and once again in the second. He was able to recover the second break, however, as he started to find his range on Court Philippe Chatrier, the stadium Nadal calls his favorite place in the world to play.advertisementHe ended up breaking Djokovic to win the second set, and then again to win the third and yet again to win the fourth.On match point, Djokovic double-faulted for the third time. Nadal dropped to his knees before shaking hands with Djokovic and then climbing into the crowd to celebrate with his team.Nadal, who will retain his place at the top of the rankings with the victory, has now won 14 Grand Slam titles, tied for second among the men with Pete Sampras. Only Roger Federer, with 17 majors, has more.But Nadal is the only player to have won the same Grand Slam tournament nine times, and is the first to win five straight French Open titles. He also won at Roland Garros from 2005-08, but lost for the only time in the fourth round of the 2009 tournament. Federer went on to win that year, completing a career Grand Slam.Nadal is 23-19 against Djokovic overall, and 6-0 against him at Roland Garros. Djokovic took Nadal to five sets in last year’s French Open semifinals, and lost in four in the 2012 final.Entering Sunday’s match, however, Djokovic had won their previous four meetings, including winning the title in Rome on clay.The six-time major champion still needs a victory at the French Open to complete a career Grand Slam.