Militant, Soldier killed in Rajouri Encounter

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Jammu: An unidentified militant and an army soldier were killed in an encounter that broke out between the security forces and militants in the Thanamandi area of Rajouri district on Thursday.

A police official said that one unidentified militant has been killed while a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of the army also lost his life in the gunfight.

Defence spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand said that acting on specific inputs a search operation was launched by security forces in the Thanamandi area.

“During the search operations in the forest area of village Danna, Thanamandi, the search party led by Junior Commission Officer Subedar Ram Singh was fired upon by militants from a nearby densely vegetated area,” the defence spokesman said.

The column led by the Junior Commission Officer immediately retaliated with fire and in the ensuing fire fight, one militant was killed while Subedar Ram Singh suffered a gunshot wound.

“The injured JCO was provided immediate first aid and evacuated to the nearest Hospital, however, he succumbed to his injuries,” the defence spokesman said.

The slain soldier identified as Subedar Ram Singh, aged 46 years belonged to Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand and he is survived by his wife, son and a daughter.

Meanwhile, SP Rajouri Sheema Nabi Qasba said acting on the inputs about the presence of militants in the area, the Security forces had launched a search operation which later turned into an encounter after the militants opened fire on the forces, who retaliated.

“The contact was established in Thanamandi between security forces and militants. In the initial fire a soldier was injured, who later evacuated for medical treatment but could not survive due to grievous injuries,” she said.

She further maintained that the operation is on.

This was the second encounter in the Thanamandi area in the past two weeks. Sources said the militants hiding in the area may have infiltrated from Pakistan administered Kashmir recently. On August 6, the army encountered two militants in the Pangai area of Thanamandi.

In the past few weeks, several encounters have taken place in Rajouri’s Daddal in Nowshera, Sunderbani and Pangai in Thanamandi.

J&K police chief Dilbagh Singh last week said that the infiltration from launch pads across the border had resumed.

“The training camps and launch pads being run by the Pakistani army are full to their capacity. We generally assume the number of militants at such camps remains between 250 and 300 who are trained and ready for launching into Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

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