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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

IED planted on tree detected during Poonch combing operation

In the combing operation that followed, four more soldiers, including a JCO, were killed in a gunfight on October 14 in Bhata Durian area of Mendhar tehsil.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu |
Updated: October 22, 2021 7:30:08 am
Poonch encounter, Jammu kashmir news, Poonch encounter news, Jammu kashmir encounter, Poonch news, kashmir news, Indian ExpressArmy personnel at the encounter site in Mendhar, Poonch, on Sunday. (PTI)

ARMY TROOPS engaged in a combing operation to flush out militants in the forests in Poonch district of J&K on Thursday found and defused an Improvised Explosive Device in Chamrel near Dehra Ki Gali on the Mughal road.

“Indian Army troops recovered an IED in the forest area in Sawalkot on Ratanpir Ridge in district Poonch,” said Army spokesperson Lt Colonel Devender Anand.

Sources said the IED was planted by militants on a tree in the Chamrel forest apparently to inflict more damage on security forces.

The security forces first came in contact with the militants in the same forest falling in Surankote tehsil of the border district on October 11 morning. Five soldiers, including a JCO, were killed in the gunfight that followed.

In the combing operation that followed, four more soldiers, including a JCO, were killed in a gunfight on October 14 in Bhata Durian area of Mendhar tehsil.

Pointing out that the search parties, which are still engaged in the forests, are yet to locate any militant so far, sources said the chances of their sighting are diminishing with each passing day. However, the searches will continue for some more days, they said, adding that the militants appear to be well trained in jungle warfare and familiar with local topography as they have been in the area for the past two-and-a-half months.

The police have so far detained eight people, including a 45-year-old woman and her son, on suspicion of providing logistics to the militants.

They have also detained a villager who was taking photographs of troop movement towards Bhata Durian forests. Identified him as Mohammad Jameel, sources said Pakistani numbers have been found stored on his cellphone.

While Army sources said it was not clear if the incidents of October 11 and 14 involved the same group of militants, a senior police officer said they were believed to be acting in tandem, and had changed locations. “Following intelligence inputs, we have been after different groups of militants in the area for the past two-and-a-half months,” he said, adding that there had been inputs on a 10-member group having crossed the LoC in the area in early August.

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