Anantnag, Sep 14: Day after the killing of an army colonel, major and a police officer, the exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists continued for second straight day in Gadool forest area of Kokernag hamlet in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Thursday with army pressing in new generation weapons and devices to track down the terrorists.
An official said that intermittent exchange of fire between forces and the hiding terrorists remained on throughout the day as the operation was put on a halt given darkness.
“There is no confirmation whether any terrorist has been killed so far given the tough terrain and forest area,” the official said. “Given dark, high beam lights have been installed and all the layers of cordon have been tightened to ensure terrorists don’t flee.”
However, Police said that forces have encircled two Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists including Uzair Khan a local militant at Gadool area of Kokernag. On Wednesday, a colonel, major and a dysp of J&K police were killed in the first assault by the terrorists.
“In solemn tribute to the unwavering valor of Col Manpreet Singh,Major Ashish Dhonak &DSP Humayun Bhat, who laid down their lives leading from the front during this ongoing operation. Our forces persist with unwavering resolve as they encircle 2 LET terrorists including Uzair Khan,” Police said in a post on ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter.
Meanwhile, defence sources said that GoC 15 Corps and GoC Victor Force were closely monitoring the operations. Army said that the “terrorists will not be spared and all new generation weapons and devices are being used to locate hiding terrorists.”
They said that drones including herons have been pressed into action to find and neutralize the hiding terrorists.
Notably, the Kokernag encounter is the biggest since August 5 this year in South Kashmir when three soldiers of army’s 34 RR were killed in Halan Manzgam forest area of Kulgam district. On March 30, 2020, five security personnel-including a Colonel, a Major and a sub-inspector were killed in an 18-hour long encounter at north Kashmir’s Handwara.
This year so far, 48 militants have been killed in J&K and among them 38 were foreigners and 10 were locals.
Officials said that around 20 security forces were killed this year in terrorist attacks and encounters. Five soldiers were killed and another injured in a major militant attack in the Pir Panjal valley’s Poonch district in the Jammu province on 20 April this year.
Five soldiers were killed and another was injured in a gunfight with militants in the thick jungles of the Rajouri-Poonch sector of the Jammu division on 05 May this year.
Three soldiers were killed in an encounter in Hallan Manzgam Kulgam last month while two army officers and a police have been already killed in ongoing Anantnag encounter.