Security forces used explosions and opened heavy fire on the hill cavities, seen as potential hideout of militants, and suspected spots in Gadool on the third day of the Anantnag operation in Kokernag’s Gadool area on September 15.
Officials said a soldier, who went missing on September 14 during the operation, could not be traced. The Army did not divulge details about the status of the missing soldier. Three officers were killed and two soldiers were injured during the Anantnag operation so far.
The security forces suspect two to three militants may be hiding in the area. According to the police, two LeT terrorists, including a local, Uzair Khan, have been trapped. The police have not officially confirmed the status of the hiding militants, if they are still holed up or dead.
The Gadool hill, where three officers of the security forces were hit by indiscriminate fire on September 13 afternoon, has been cordoned off with multi-layer security. Flood lights have been installed to maintain vigil in the night too, officials said.
The Army used quadcopters and drones to trace the missing soldier and establish the positions of the hiding militants in the Gadool hill. Officials said rocket-propelled grenade launchers were also used to hit the caves and crevices, which could offer safe haven to hiding militants. Officials said improvised explosive devices were also used in the Gadool jungles to hit the suspected hiding spots.
The Anantnag operation is turning out to be one of the longest operations Kashmir saw since 2019. Earlier, the Pir Panjal valley, comprising Rajouri and Poonch districts, would witness such prolonged operations against hiding militants.