The Army has launched a major combing operation in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch after two soldiers including a junior commissioned officer (JCO) went missing in an ongoing operation that started on Monday.
According to sources, the JCO and a soldier went missing after the Army came under heavy firing from terrorists on Thursday evening. Two soldiers – Rifleman Yogambar Singh and rifleman Vikram Singh Negi – were killed in the encounter that erupted in Poonch-Rajouri forests, four days after five army personnel were killed in action in the same area.
Retrieving the bodies of the fallen soldiers proved to be a major challenge for the Army as they had to advance cautiously deep inside forests to bring back the bodies.
The Army lost contact with the JCO on Thursday evening, an officer said.
Following the incident, army in statement said: “In an ongoing Counter Terrorist operation in general area Nar Khas Forest, Mendhar Sub Division, District Poonch there has been exchange of fire between army troops and terrorists during evening hours on 14 Oct 2021. During the ensuing exchange of fire one JCO and one soldier have been critically injured. The operations are under progress. Update follows”.
Yesterday, the army confirmed the killing of two soldiers but there was no update on the injured JCO.
A senior officer said the operation to rescue the injured JCO will be launched in the morning. “We have not been able to retrieve the injured JCO. Searches will resume in the morning,” he said.
A major offensive was launched this morning in Nar Khas forest area in Mendhar. Heavy firing and explosions were heard in the area as the Army tries to flush out terrorists believed to be hiding in the deep in the forests.
The Army launched a combing operation in Dera Ki Gali on Monday after receiving information about the presence of terrorists there. In the initial shootout, five soldiers including a junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) were killed.
Reinforcement was rushed to the area and since then the army is engaged in one of longest counter terrorist operations. So far no terrorists have been killed as the encounter entered sixth day today.
This is the first time in recent years when the Army has suffered so many casualties in a single encounter.
Since Thursday evening, the authorities have closed Poonch-Jammu highway as a safety measure.