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Soldier, two cops injured as Poonch encounter enters 14 days

Police said they were taking detainee Zia Mustafa, a LeT terrorist who infiltrated 15 years ago from Pakistan, to Bhata Durian to make him identify the terrorist hideout.

SNS | Jammu |

A soldier and two policemen were injured on Sunday in the longest ongoing gunbattle between Army and terrorists that has entered 14 days in Jammu’s Poonch district.

Additional Director General of Police (Jammu Range) Mukesh Singh confirmed injuries to the three security forces personnel.

A jailed terrorist from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, who was remanded in police custody for 10 days and was brought to the encounter site to identify the possible routes the terrorists used, was also injured in the firing. The injured terrorist could not be evacuated due to heavy firing.

Police said they were taking detainee Zia Mustafa, a LeT terrorist who infiltrated 15 years ago from Pakistan to Bhata Durian to make him identify the terrorist hideout, but when they approached the hideout, terrorists opened fire on the joint team of police and Army wounding two cops and an Army jawan. Zia also sustained injuries and could not be extracted from the site due to heavy firing. Zia was originally lodged in the high-security Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu for the past 14 years in connection with several terror-related incidents. He was shifted to Gursai police station in Mendhar tehsil for the operation.

The Army is engaged in one of the longest and toughest anti-terrorist operations in the area in which nine soldiers including two JCOs have died in the line of duty so far. However, not a single terrorist has so far got killed in the operation.

The anti-terror operation in the forest areas in the twin border districts began on 11 October when terrorists ambushed a search party killing five soldiers including a JCO in Poonch before another gunfight in nearby Thanamandi on the same day. On 14 October, the terrorists struck again and killed four soldiers including a JCO in Nar Khas forest in Mendhar as the security forces combed the area to neutralize the hiding terrorists.

Drones and helicopters were pressed into service to assist the troops, which included para-commandos, in the jungle area at a distance of over 20 kms from the Line of Control (LoC).

Police have detained 10 persons, including two women for questioning after it came to light that they allegedly provided logistic support including food and shelter to the terrorists.

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