Mendhar, Jan 9: The security forces have called off their operation against terrorism late on Thursday night, Jan 8 in Bhati Dhar forest area of Mendhar in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch District.
According to army sources, the possibility of militants having escaped cannot be ruled out.
Security forces in co-operation with police personnel launched a major combing operation targeting militant hideouts with rockets and mortars as the raging gun battle entered the eighth day on Thursday, Jan 8.
The operation was carried out with all the necessary precautions to ensure that the security forces don't suffer any casualty and also none of the holed up militants dare to escape.
The fierce encounter, which has been going on since January 1, has so far claimed the lives of four militants and three security personnel.
Four militants, one policeman and two soldiers have died in the encounter which began on Thursday in Mendhar area of Poonch district close to Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. The militants are suspected to owe allegiance to Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit.
The deceased army men have been identified as Subedar Rakesh Kumar and Naik A P Singh of counter-insurgency outfit Rashtriya Rifles. The encounter appears to be one of the longest in the state in recent memory.