SRINAGAR: A day after the deaths of an army colonel, a major, and a police officer, the firefight between security forces and militants entered its second consecutive day in the Gadool forest area of Kokernag hamlet in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Thursday.
The army has now deployed new generation weapons and devices to track down the militants.
An official said that intermittent exchanges of fire between the security forces and the concealed militants persisted throughout the day. The operation was temporarily halted due to the darkness.
“There is no confirmation of any terrorists being killed so far, given the challenging terrain and forested area,” the official stated. “To address the darkness, high beam lights have been installed, and all layers of cordons have been tightened to prevent the terrorists from escaping.”
However, the police reported that the forces have encircled two Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, including a local militant named Uzair Khan, in the Gadool area of Kokernag.
“In solemn tribute to the unwavering valor of Col Manpreet Singh, Major Ashish Dhonak, and DSP Humayun Bhat, who laid down their lives leading from the front during this ongoing operation. Our forces persist with unwavering resolve as they encircle 2 LET terrorists, including Uzair Khan,” police posted on ‘X,’ formerly called Twitter.
Meanwhile, defense sources informed KNO that the General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the 15 Corps and the GoC of Victor Force were closely monitoring the operations. The army stated that “the terrorists will not be spared,” and they are employing new generation weapons and devices to locate the hiding militants.
They also mentioned that drones, including Herons, have been deployed to locate and neutralise the concealed militants.
It’s noteworthy that the Kokernag encounter is the largest since August 5 of this year in South Kashmir when three soldiers from the army’s 34 RR were killed in the Halan Manzgam forest area of Kulgam district. On March 30, 2020, an 18-hour-long encounter in north Kashmir’s Handwara resulted in the deaths of five security personnel, including a colonel, a major, and a sub-inspector.
So far this year, 48 militants have been killed in J&K, with 38 being foreigners and 10 locals. (KNO)