Poonch ‘Encounter’ Enters 6th Day; Para Commandos Join, Fresh Firing Reported Today

M S Nazki

Poonch, Oct 16: The encounter between army and militants in dense forests entered sixth day on Saturday amid reports that there was “exchange” of fresh fire near Bhata Dhurian village of Mendhar along highway in Poonch district.

Official sources told GNS elite para commandos have been rushed to the area which is said to be a dense forest. Also helicopters were seen hovering through the area, they said.

So far seven soldiers have been killed while a junior commissioned officer and another soldier are said to be missing even as there is no official confirmation as regards the latter.

“There was fresh firing near
Defence spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand when contacted told GNS that he had no fresh information to share for now.

Yesterday he said two soldiers — 26-year-old Vikram Singh Negi and 27-year-old Yogambar Singh — were killed near the Nar Khas forest area of Mendhar on Thursday evening.
“During the operation, there was heavy exchange of fire and in the ensuing gunfight, Rifleman Vikram Singh Negi and Rifleman Yogambar Singh were critically injured and later succumbed to their injuries,” he said.

On October 11, five army soldiers including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) were killed in the encounter in Dera Ki Gali in the Surankote area of Poonch district.

Officially there is no word if the militants involved in the Nar Khas gunfight were those involved in the October 11 encounter even as an army officer told GNS that the “probability” of militants being part of the same group was very high. A key highway through the area also remains closed, they said. (GNS)


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