Anantnag Encounter Enters Sixth Day: Army Intensifies Operation With Drones And Mortars In Rugged Terrain
The encounter in the Kokernag area of Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has entered its sixth day.
The operation commenced on the morning of 13 September, during which four security forces personnel, including Colonel Manpreet Singh, the commanding officer of the 19 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) battalion stationed in the area, lost their lives.
The security operations were initiated based on specific intelligence inputs regarding the presence of two Pakistan-based terrorists in the Gadool hamlet of Anantnag's Kokernag area.
The security forces, comprising the Indian Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police, initiated the operation code-named Operation Garol in the area and established contact with the terrorists.
In the intense firefight with the terrorists, Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Ashish Dhonchak of the 19 Rashtriya Rifles, and DSP Humayun Bhat of Jammu & Kashmir Police lost their lives on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday.
Subsequently, on the third day, a fourth soldier who had been missing since Thursday (14 September) also lost his life during the encounter.
Meanwhile the Armed Forces have intensified the counter terror operation, utilising drones to drop grenades on the terrorists' hiding spots within the dense Gadool forest, akin to tactics seen in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
In addition to grenade drops, security forces have deployed long-range Heron drones and helicopters to identify the terrorists, who are also being targeted with mortar fire.
According to reports, the terrorists are entrenched in a cave atop a hill, while the security personnel are sandwiched between the forest and the hill on one side and a deep ditch on the other.
This cave can only be reached via a narrow route flanked by a deep ditch on one side, and when officers used this path, they were exposed to automatic gunfire with no cover.
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