JAMMU: In an ongoing encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district, two terrorists affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were killed, while the toll of martyred soldiers reached seven, including four army personnel who lost their lives on Wednesday.
According to an official statement, one of the terrorists, identified as Quari, hailing from Pakistan, had received training on the Pakistan and Afghanistan Front. An army spokesperson told The New Indian, “He is a highly-ranked terrorist leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba and has been actively operating in the Rajouri-Poonch region for the past year. Quari is believed to be the mastermind behind the Dangri & and Kandi attacks, sent to revive terrorism in the area. He is proficient in IEDs, cave operations, and is a trained sniper.”
Security officials in Jammu and Kashmir released a video of Quari, interacting with locals and purportedly seeking food before the encounter in Rajouri ensued.
The encounter, which entered its second day, took place in the Bajimaal area of Dharmsal in Rajouri district. The army identified the five soldiers who lost their lives as MV Pranjal (Mangalore, Karnataka), Shubham Gupta (Agra), Abdul Majid (Ajote, Poonch), Sanjay Bisht (Halli Padli, Nainital, UK), and Paratrooper Sachin Laur (Nagaliya Giurola, District Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh).
Contact was established on November 22, leading to an intense firefight. The terrorists, surrounded and injured, are under operations, with Indian Army personnel displaying acts of valour and sacrifice to prevent collateral damage to women and children in the highest traditions of Indian Army, the White Knight Corps of the Army said.
While violence has decreased in Kashmir, the casualties suffered by security forces in Jammu have risen. The Pir Panjal region, acting as a haven for foreign terrorists infiltrating J&K from the Line of Control (LoC), has witnessed an increase in attacks on security forces and civilians. The region’s dense forests, along with natural caves shielded under thick vegetation cover, have become a base for foreign terrorists assisted by local counterparts. Some reportedly cross back to PoK after carrying out attacks.