Poonch Attack: Combing Operation To Track Down Militants Enters Fifth Day

Poonch/Jammu- Around 50 people, including 14 over ground workers, have been detained for questioning so far as a massive operation to track down the militants involved in the deadly attack on an Army truck in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district entered the fifth day on Tuesday.

Five Army personnel were killed and another was seriously injured after their vehicle caught fire following the militant attack in Poonch on Thursday.

The massive search and combing operation is going on in Bhata Dhurian-Tota Gali and neighbouring areas to hunt down the militants involved in the attack.

The special forces and NSG are also engaged in the operation in the dense forest areas, official sources said, adding drones, sniffer dogs and metal detectors are being used.

They said nearly 50 people, including 14 OGWs, have been detained in connection with the attack and some of them have been let off after questioning, they said.

The sources said two group of seven to eight militants, are believed to have engineered the attack.

According to the investigation, militants reportedly hid themselves in a culvert on this road stretch before attacking the vehicle.

Over 50 bullet marks have been found on the vehicle that shows intensity of the firing by militants, the sources said.

During the search operation, troops came across a few natural cave hideouts in the area, which could possibly have been used by the militants in the past, they said, adding the troops are also looking for any improvised explosive devices (IEDs) militants may have planted in the densely forested areas, especially in deep gorges and caves.

The army truck attacked in Poonch was carrying fruits, vegetables and other items from the Bhimber Gali camp to Sangiote village for Iftar celebration on Thursday. The slain soldiers were from a Rashtriya Rifles unit deployed for counter-militancy operations.

The Bhimber Gali-Poonch road, which was closed for traffic following the militant attack, was reopened for traffic on Sunday.

Army’s Northern Commander Lt Gen Upendra Dwivedi on Sunday said necessary action to nab the militants responsible for the deadly attack is under way.

Experts from various agencies, including the National Security Guard (NSG) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA), have visited the site of the attack in the past two days to probe the incident, the officials said.

Hundreds of people in Kishtwar on Sunday took out a candle light march in solidarity with the family of the jawans killed in the attack.


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