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Poonch firefight: Indian army yet to retrieve body of slain JCO, operation continues

Two Indian Army personnel, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO), were killed in an encounter with militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, officials said on Friday.

According to an Indian defense spokesperson, the JCO and a soldier were critically injured during a counter-militancy operation in the NarKhas forest area in the Mendhar sub-division on Thursday evening. Both of them succumbed to their injuries subsequently.

The operation is ongoing, he added.

While the body of the soldier has been retrieved, that of the JCO is yet to be retrieved from the area, the spokesperson said.

Efforts are on to retrieve the body, he said, adding that the area is mountainous and the forest is dense, which makes the operation difficult and dangerous.

The Jammu and Kashmir police on Tuesday said militants involved in a recent attack on forces in Poonch, in which five Army personnel including a JCO were killed, were present in the area for the last two to three months.

Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Rajouri-Poonch range Vivek Gupta told reporters that the militants have been confined to a particular area.

“The group has been present in the area for two to three months,” he said.

Several counter-militant operations and encounters have taken place in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch this year.

On October 12, five Indian Army personnel, including a JCO, were killed during an encounter between forces and militants at Dera Ki Gali (DKG) in the Surankote area of Poonch.

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