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Friday, December 9, 2022

Watch: locals asked to stay indoors as Poonch gunfight enters day 9

As the counter-insurgency operation in the forest belt of Jammu and Kashmir’s twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri entered the ninth day on Tuesday, public announcements were made in Mendhar asking local residents to stay indoors.

The people were alerted through the public address system in local mosques in Bhatta Durian and adjoining areas as the forces were preparing a final assault against the militants believed to be hiding in the forest area of Mendhar in Poonch district, officials said.

They said the people were asked not to venture into the forest area and also keep their livestock at their homes in view of the ongoing operation.

Those who have gone outside were asked to return to their homes along with their animals, the officials said.


While a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and four other personnel were killed in a fierce gunfight during the start of the counter-insurgency operation in Surankote forest of Poonch on October 11, four other soldiers including another JCO lost their lives in another encounter in Nar Khas forest in Mendhar on Thursday evening after the forces extended the cordon and search operation.

An encounter was on in the adjoining Thanamandi forest in Rajouri district on October 11 when the forces confronted the fleeing militants who, however, managed to escape.

The entire forest belt is still under a tight cordon and the area is mountainous and the forest is dense, making the operation difficult and dangerous.

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