Two Army captains and two soldiers were killed in an ongoing anti-militancy operation to flush out the hiding militants in a hamlet in the Pir Panjal valley’s Rajouri district on November 22. The Army said the hiding militants were also injured in the firefight.
A Jammu-based Army spokesman said the security forces launched joint operations in the Gulabgarh forest of the Kalakote area on November 19 following “specific intelligence” about the presence of militants and contact with the hiding militants was established on November 22.
“An intense firefight ensued. The terrorists have been injured and surrounded and operations are in progress, amidst acts of valour and sacrifice by own bravehearts in trying to prevent collateral damage to women and children in the highest traditions of the Indian Army,” the Army spokesman said.
Official sources said two Army officers and two soldiers were killed in the gunfight.
Official sources said the security forces spotted the militants at Baji Maal hamlet of Rajouri’s Kalakote area around 10 a.m. The encounter site is dotted with trees and natural slopes. The number of militants could be up to three, they said.
The Army’s elite PARA force is also part of the operation. The anti-militancy operation is likely to prolong into the night as the militants kept firing till late November 22 evening at the positions of the security forces.
Officials said a multi-layer cordon has been thrown around the encounter site to ensure the militants do not flee from the spot taking advantage of the darkness.
The Pir Panjal valley has witnessed a heighted militancy since 2020. This year has seen a spike in the stand-offs between the militants and the security forces. One estimate suggested 13 security personnel and 22 militants were killed in the Jammu region this year.