Business Standard

J&K: 5 soldiers killed in gunfight with terrorists


Five Army personnel, including a Junior Commission­ed Officer (JCO), lost their lives in a fierce gunfight with terrorists during an operation in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, officials said.

The operation was launched in a village close to Dera Ki Gali in Surankote in the early hours following intelligen­ce inputs about the presence of terrorists who had infiltrate­d from across the Line of Control (LOC).

A Defence spokesman said the ultras opened heavy fire on search parties resulting in critical injuries to the JCO and four other personnel.

All the five soldiers succumbed to their injuries at a nearby military hospital where they were shifted from the scene of the gunfight, he said. The encounter was going on and further details are awaited, the spokesman said in the evening.

There has been a spurt in terrorist attacks in recent weeks in which several civilians, including a prominent Kashmiri Pandit businessma­n and a school teacher, were killed.

The officials said there were inputs about the presence of a group of heavilyarm­ed terrorists in Chamrer forest after they managed to sneak from across the LOC. After the initial encounter, the terrorists fled to nearby Bhangai village, which falls in Rajouri district, and an encounter is underway to neutralise the ultras, they said, adding all possible escape routes have been plugged.

The twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch in the Jammu region have witnessed a rise in infiltrati­on attempts since June this year, resulting in the killing of nine terrorists in separate encounters.

Three soldiers also laid down their lives in the previous operations.

Earlier in the day, two militants were killed and a policeman was injured during encounters in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag and Bandipora districts.

Activists of Shiv Sena and Dogra Front held anti-pakistan protests after the death of five army personnel and burnt an effigy of the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for aiding and abetting terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir unit of the Congress expressed shock and grief over the killing of five Army personnel and urged the Bjp-led government to take effective measures to contain Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in the Union Territory.

J&K Pradesh Congress Committee president G A Mir and other senior party leaders described the terrorist attack as a “cowardly act” and saluted the bravery of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the nation.

 ?? PHOTO: PTI ?? Security forces stand guard at the encounter site in Surankote area of Poonch district on Monday
PHOTO: PTI Security forces stand guard at the encounter site in Surankote area of Poonch district on Monday

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