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5 army soldiers killed in encounter in J-K’s Poonch; 1 injured in gunfight

5 army soldiers were killed in an encounter in J-K’s Poonch while 1 was injured in a gunfight that broke out in the forest area of Poonch.

The operation was launched in a village close to Dera Ki Gali (DKG) 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.

The spokesperson said the terrorists opened massive firing on the search parties resulting in critical injuries to the JCO and four other ranks. All 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 with the terrorists was going on and further details are awaited, the spokesman said in the evening.

“The critically injured JCO and four jawans were evacuated to the nearest medical facility but succumbed to their injuries. The operation is still going on,” the Army said in its official statement.

This incident occurred in the sector of Jammu and Kashmir and later, one more soldier was injured in the fresh gunfight that exploded hours after the first encounter took place on Monday morning.  Among the deceased are four jawans and one Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO).

The officials said there were reports about the presence of a group of heavily-armed terrorists in Chamrer Forest after they managed to sneak from across the Line of Control (LoC).  The operation was started in a village close to DKG in Surankote in the early hours following intelligence inputs about the presence of terrorists, a defence spokesman said. The Army has cordoned off the area as three to four militants were believed to be trapped there.

“Teams of police and Army rushed to the spot after receiving this information and the entire area has been cordoned,” the official said, adding that the firing is going on between two sides.

As the search operation went on to nab the terrorists, a fresh encounter broke out in Poonch, around 2 kilometres from the site where five Indian Army soldiers were killed.

According to sources, one soldier was injured in the fresh encounter while the search operation is still on.

Meanwhile, two to three terrorists are believed to be trapped in South Kashmir’s Sagran village of Shopian district. Cordon and search operations are currently underway in the area.

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 heavily-armed 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 operated 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.

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 (JKPCC) 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. The party, in a statement, expressed serious concern over the rising incidents of terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.

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