Officials said the operation was launched in a village close to DKG in Surankote following intelligence inputs about presence of terrorists
Srinagar: The Army on Monday lost five of its soldiers including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in a major clash with separatist militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s frontier district of Poonch.
As the militants’ group is reported to have succeeded in breaking the security dragnet and sneaking into the neighbouring Rajouri district, Army reinforcements have laid siege to a vast area and plugged all exit points in an attempt to minimise the militants’ chances of escaping.
A police officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity told this newspaper that the three or four heavily-armed militants who may have sneaked into J&K after breaching the Line of Control (LoC) recently could try to move towards the Kashmir Valley or go back to the PoK.
The Army sources said that the gunfight took place in the Chamrer forest of Surankote subdivision of Poonch. In the initial barrage of militant gunfire and subsequent heavy exchange of fire between the two sides, the JCO and four soldiers sustained bullet injuries.
They were evacuated to a nearby Army medical facility where all of them succumbed to their injuries, the sources said.
Later during the day, contact was again established with the group in Bhangai village of Rajouri "which is adjacent to earlier site where forces and militants had clashed", the police and Army sources said.
The local sources said the area covered with woods and mud houses and shakes laid at distances is actually spread between the twin border districts. The intermittent firing between the two sides at Bhangai was underway as reports last came in, the police officer said.
A report said that another soldier was injured in the fresh exchange of fire with militants. The Army has neither denied nor confirmed yet another report which purported that the death toll in the clashes has risen to seven.