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J&K: 2 captains, 2 jawans killed in gunfight between security forces and terrorists

Jammu and Kashmir: An official said that Two army captains and two jawans were killed during an encounter between security forces and terrorists in Baji Maal area of Dharmsal in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Jammu and Kashmir: An official said that Two army captains and two jawans were killed during an encounter between security forces and terrorists in Baji Maal area of Dharamsal in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.

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Officials said the army and the police launched a joint cordon-and-search operation to hunt down militants in the Bhajimal area of Dharamsal. An intense gun battle continued in the region as additional troops were deployed to eliminate the two terrorists cornered in the Bajimaal area of Dharmsal following a cordon-and-search operation.

A few jawans were injured in this incident. The casualties included two captains and two havildars, with other officials suffering injuries. Those injured in the encounter have been transported to the Army’s Command Hospital in Udhampur. During the operation, the soldiers took a massive hit from militants who apparently took advantage of the forests and lured them into a trap.

The security forces had cordoned off a large area early on Wednesday and were inching close towards the hideout of the militants when the latter opened indiscriminate fire. Top army and police officers, including Jammu region police chief Anand Jain, have rushed to the area and are monitoring the situation.

A police officer in Jammu said,“At least two militants are hiding in the area. Unfortunately, we have lost young officers in the gunfight. Additional reinforcements have been rushed to the area to tighten the cordon and prevent militants from escaping.” Officials said the gunfight was underway in the evening with the trapped militants.

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Jammu-based 16 Corps, also called White Knight Corps, said the operation was launched in Rajouri on November 19 based on a specific intelligence operation launched in the Gulabgarh forests of Rajouri.

The army posted on X, “Contact established on 22 Nov and intense firefight ensued. The terrorists have been injured and surrounded and operations are in progress, amidst acts of valour and sacrifice by own bravehearts in trying to prevent collateral damage to women and children in the highest traditions of Indian army.”

The post said it “salutes the supreme sacrifice” but gave no details about the casualties. The number of times that the security forces have lost officers and men while chasing militants hiding in the forests this year suggests a definite militant strategy to take their battle to the mountains from the plains.

The border districts of Rajouri and Poonch have experienced a surge in terrorist incidents over the past eighteen months. Notably, on November 17, a terrorist was killed in an encounter in the Guller Behrote area of Rajouri. The forces have in the past rebuffed reports about the militant strategy to lure jawans into an ambush in dense hilly areas where they have an advantage — unlike in densely populated areas where militants are sitting ducks.

The casualties have come weeks after the army lost a colonel, a major, a deputy superintendent of police and a soldier in Kokernag forests in the Valley in September. Similarly, on August 7, the Army thwarted an infiltration attempt, resulting in the killing of a terrorist in the Degwar area of Poonch. Additionally, on May 5, five Army soldiers lost their lives during an anti-terror operation in the Kesari hills of Rajouri district.

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