In Poonch Militants, Troops Continue To Trade Fire

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Jammu: Intermittent exchange of fire between militants and armed forces continued on Friday in Bhata-Dhuria forest area in Mendhar, where two soldiers were killed in a firefight on Thursday.

An official said that extensive searches were conducted in the Bhata-Dhuria forest area in Mendhar sub-division of Poonch district after the killing of two soldiers on Thursday evening.

The killing of Riflemen Yogambar Singh and Vikram Singh Negi came three days after five soldiers, including a JCO were killed in an encounter with militants in Dera Ki Gali on Monday.

“Firing was reported in the area of operation intermittently,” said a defence official, wishing not to be named. “Given the fact that the area is tough in terrain and it’s a forest area, the operation is a deliberate one to avoid casualties.”

He said that it is believed that the militants were hiding in dense woods.

“Soldiers are moving swiftly and will try to zero in on the hiding militants soon,” the officials said.

In the wake of the ongoing operation, authorities have closed the Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch national highway 144 from Bhimber Gali to Surankote as a “precautionary measure.”

Meanwhile, the officials said that search operation continued for the fifth consecutive day on Friday at Dera Ki Gali near the border area of Poonch and Rajouri district where five soldiers were killed on October 12 in an encounter with militants.

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