The ongoing encounter in the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir has now entered its fourth day as the terrorists are hiding in a cave on top of a hill.
The security personnel are reportedly caught between forests and a hill on one side and a deep ditch on the other.
On Tuesday night, a joint operation between the Army and the police was initiated to track down the terrorists who were hiding in the Gadul forest of Kokernag.
During the operation, one soldier went missing and three officers, including an Indian Army colonel and Major, lost their lives while attempting to approach the hideout of the Lashkar terrorists, which was situated on top of a hill.
The terrorists, who are familiar with the local terrain, have taken refuge in a cave on top of a hill.
This cave can only be reached through a narrow route that is flanked by a deep ditch on one side, NDTV reported citing sources.
On Wednesday, the officers used this route to approach the cave but found themselves under fire with no place to seek cover.
The standoff between the security forces and the terrorists continues as the forces have surrounded the hill.
In their efforts to gain control, the forces are employing rocket launchers and dropping explosives using Heron drones bought from Israel. However, the challenging terrain has reportedly hindered the Army's complete dominance.
The terrorists, who are well-trained and well-equipped with food and ammunition, are likely to be more than the two-three that were initially cited.
On Wednesday, two officers from the Army, Colonel Manpreet Singh and Major Ashish Dhonchak, and one J&K police officer, DSP Himanyun Muzamil Bhat, lost their lives during the counter-terror operation.
Colonel Manpreet Singh, who was awarded the Sena Medal (Gallantry), served as the Commanding Officer of the 19 Rashtriya Rifles Unit (19 RR).
Major Aashish Dhonchak, also a recipient of the Sena Medal (Gallantry), held the position of company commander in 19 RR.
Himanyun Muzamil Bhat was a Deputy Superintendent (DySP) in the Jammu and Kashmir Police.
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