A terrorist said to be part of the group that attacked civilians in Dangri village earlier this year was killed during an operation on Saturday in Rajouri, Jammu and Kashmir, officials said while Defense Minister Rajnath Singh visited a military base and assessed the overall security situation. .

It is believed that another terrorist was injured in the early morning confrontation in Kesari Hill in the forested Kandy region during the ‘Operation Trinetra’, which was launched a day after five army personnel were killed and a senior officer was wounded when the terrace triggered a targeted explosion. Search party in the Kandy forest.

“In the ongoing joint operation in Kandy forest, Rajouri sector, by the Indian Army in coordination with the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Central Reserve Police Force, at about 7 am, the terrorists were surrounded while closing in, detected and identified.

“In the ensuing gun battle, one terrorist was neutralized and another terrorist is likely to be wounded,” said Jammu-based Army Lt. Col. Devender Anand.

He said that an AK-56 rifle, four magazines, 56 bullets, a 9mm pistol, its three magazines and three hand grenades were seized from the slain terrorist, whose identity and affiliation with the group were not immediately identified.

The Anti-Fascist Popular Front, a shadow organization of Jaish-e-Mohammed, claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack.

Officials said the search operation has extended to nearby areas, with new army and police reinforcements moving to block escape routes. However, there was no new contact with the fugitive terrorist.

The officials said the operation is continuing despite the bad weather, adding that the body of the slain terrorist was removed from the scene and an autopsy was carried out.

Officials said that some people from Pathoni village, who were called to identify the slain terrorist, said he was part of the group that had been active in the area and was believed to be behind the January 1 Dhangri attack, which left seven civilians dead and several others injured.

Over the past 18 months, terrorists have killed 35 people, including 26 soldiers, in eight attacks in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch.

Defense Minister Singh, accompanied by Army Chief General Manoj Pandey and Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha, reached the headquarters of the Ice of Spades in Rajouri in the afternoon after a short stopover in Jammu.

The officials said they also interacted with the forces involved in the ongoing operation against the terrorists.

Officials said Northern Army Commander Lt. Gen. Upendra Dwivedi, Corps Commander of the White Knight Corps, and Jammu Division Commissioner were escorting Rajnath to Rajouri.

They said that after receiving a briefing on the operation in the Kandy forest, the Defense Minister chaired a high-level security meeting to review the general situation in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in Rajouri and Poonch before returning to Jammu.

Earlier in the day, Lieutenant General Dwivedi visited the standoff site and was briefed on the developments in ‘Operation Trinetra’.

Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu, which was declared terror-free more than a decade ago, has been hit by a series of deadly attacks since October 2021.

The loss of five Jaws in the Kandy forest is the third major accident this year. It took place at a time when the forces were engaged in an intense combing operation during the past fifteen days after an ambush of a military truck in Bhatta Darian (Poonch).

Five soldiers were killed and another wounded on April 20 when terrorists bombed a military truck carrying fruits and vegetables during Iftar.

More than 250 people were detained for questioning during sweeps in the aftermath of the incident. They said that six above-ground workers who were providing full support to the terrorists were arrested.

According to military officials, terrorists have now adopted the strategy of engaging forces or attacking people and then placing improvised explosive devices to harm security forces participating in sweep operations.

This also happened in Dangri village of Rajouri where terrorists killed seven civilians in two attacks on January 1 this year.

In two major incidents in Rajouri in 2022, five army personnel and two terrorists were killed in a suicide attack at a security camp in Pargal Daral on August 11, while two civilians were killed in a shooting incident outside an army camp near Rajouri town.

In addition to eight major attacks, four minor explosions rocked Kutranka in Rajouri district between March and April last year. All these cases have been prepared by the police with the arrest of the accused.

Nine army personnel were killed in two separate encounters with terrorists at Bhatta Durian in Mindar Tahsil in Poonch districts in October 2021.

Two army personnel, including a lieutenant, were killed in a mine explosion in Nowshera sector of Rajouri on October 30, 2021. Rajouri and Poonch districts saw more killings of army personnel than the Kashmir Valley which was hit by militants.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is republished from a syndicated news agency feed.)


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