Fresh firing erupts in J-K's Rajouri
Rajouri/Jammu, Nov 23 (PTI) A fresh exchange of fire took place on Thursday between terrorists and security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district, where four Army personnel were killed and two others were injured in an encounter, officials said The fresh firing resumed this morning after a night-long halt in Bajimaal area of Dharmsal belt, officials said.
The area was cordoned off overnight with induction of additional security forces to ensure that terrorists engaged in the encounter do not escape from the area, which is highly forested, they said.
The treacherous terrain of Reasi-Rajouri-Poonch coupled with limited road connectivity is posing a difficulty in carrying out the operation, they said.
'Isolated dhoks (huts made of mud) in villages nestled in the mountains make the civilian population, particularly women and children, vulnerable to terrorists', an officer said.
The encounter broke out in Bajimaal area following a cordon-and-search operation on Wednesday. Two captains were among four security personnel killed in the encounter.
A major and another jawan suffered injuries in the encounter, they said, adding the injured have been shifted to the Army's Command Hospital in Udhampur.
In a post on X, the White Knight Corps of the Army said based on specific intelligence, joint operations were launched in Kalakote area of Gulabgarh forest in Rajouri on Sunday.
'Contact established on 22 November and intense firefight ensued. The terrorists have been injured and surrounded and operations are in progress, amidst acts of valour and sacrifice by own brave hearts in trying to prevent collateral damage to women and children in the highest traditions of Indian Army,' it said.
The latest encounter in Rajouri comes close on the heels of another gunfight in Behrote in Budhal area on November 17, in which one terrorist was killed.
Two earlier ambushes in Mendhar area of Poonch and Kandi forest of Rajouri on April 20 and May 5 respectively had claimed the lives of 10 soldiers.
According to officials, 46 deaths have been recorded in terrorism-related incidents in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch and nearby Reasi district since January this year.
While 23 people, including seven terrorists and nine security personnel, were killed in Rajouri, 15 terrorists and five security personnel have been killed in Poonch district. Three terrorists were killed in Reasi district. PTI COR AB DV DV
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