Just a matter of time for 9 day encounter in Rajouri-Poonch jungles to end
New Delhi, Oct 20: While the encounter between the terrorists and Indian Army continues in the forests of the Rajouri-Poonch sector, the forces are now going in for the final kill.
The Indian Army has inflicted a lot of damage on the terrorists and sources say that the encounter is likely to end soon with all terrorists being killed. While it was said that the Army gunned down 6 of the 9-10 Lashkar-e-Tayiba terrorists, the same is yet to be officially confirmed.
The Army has deployed illuminating bombs to light up the forest terrain. Para commandos, a chopper and drones too have been deployed. The area has been cordoned off to ensure that the terrorists do not escape. Further the Army has also engaged in speculative fire and has made tactical advances.
The Indian Army lost nine of its men in the ongoing operation. Sources tell OneIndia around 9 to 10 terrorists infiltrated from Pakistan into the jungles of Poonch-Rajouri. They were heavily armed and trained extensively by the Pakistan Army.
Meanwhile three locals were held for questioning. A 45 year old woman was among the three to be held for questioning. The agencies are questioning the locals after it was suspected that they had provided logistic support to the terrorists involved in the encounter. The woman and her son have been identified as Zarina Akther and Shafait.
Estimates suggest that there are around 8 terrorists who are heavily armed. They have been engaging the security forces in a gun battle since last Monday.
The terrorists entered the forests between Mendhar-Dehra Ki Gali-Thanamandi and Bhimber Gali in the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri through Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The locals detained for questioning are suspected to have given them food and logistic support. The battle has been on for 9 days.
Sources say that the battle has been so intense and has lasted over a week because of the training these terrorists have been imparted with. The role of the Pakistan Army in this operation cannot be ruled out, the source also said.
The battle continues despite a massive combing operation, intense shelling and a heavy cordon along the 9 kilometre stretch of the forests. On October 10, when the battle began, five soldiers including a JCO died in the Dera Wali Gali area of Poonch close to the Line of Control.
The soldiers of the Indian Army came under intense fire when a group went searching for the terrorists last Thursday. Two soldiers and two more including a JCO went missing. The Army managed to recover the bodies after an extremely tough operation.
The Army's para commandos have managed to corner the terrorists into one area and there is a likelihood of the operation getting over soon. The top priority for the Indian Army would be to ensure that there are no more casualties and hence the operation hence forth may drag a bit, but an official confirms that the end is near for the entire group of terrorists involved in this operation.