Two LeT militants killed in encounter in J&K’s Anantnag; trained dog helped Army snatch weapons

While ‘successful in destabilising the terrorists’, the assault canine was fired upon, injured seriously, and is battling for life

October 10, 2022 08:08 am | Updated 09:44 pm IST - Anantnag

Army jawans stand guard near encounter site in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. File photo

Army jawans stand guard near encounter site in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir. File photo | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

The Army deployed a trained dog on Monday to snatch weapons from two holed-up militants during an anti-militancy operation in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district. However, the dog, named Zoom, and a soldier, were injured in the encounter.  

An Army spokesperson said Zoom, an Army assault dog, was deployed in the target house to retrieve the weapon from terrorists and pull them out of hiding in the Tangpawa area, where an anti-militancy operation was launched on October 9 evening.

“A continuous surveillance of the target house, readjustment of cordon, and intermittent exchange of fire throughout the night confirmed the presence of two terrorists in the house. It was spotted by technical assets that one of the terrorists was injured. Zoom was sent into the target house to retrieve the weapon from the terrorists and pull them out of hiding,” the spokesperson said.

Zoom approached the target “stealthily and pounced upon the terrorist”. “Zoom was fired upon by the terrorists in hiding, thereby injuring him seriously. However, he was successful in destabilising the terrorists, who were then effectively neutralised by the precision fire of the troops,” the Army said. 

Describing the dog as valiant, the Army said Zoom was at present battling for his life at a military veterinary hospital.

The hiding militants were trapped following a tip-off provided by the J&K Police, which was followed by a joint operation of the Army, the police, and the Central Reserve Police Force. 

One soldier was also injured in the encounter. “The terrorists, sensing being exposed, attempted to break the cordon and opened indiscriminate automatic fire, while lobbying grenades, resulting in injury to one brave soldier. Despite being injured, the soldier brought down accurate fire, thereby injuring a terrorist,” the Army said.

The Army said the terrorists took forceful refuge in the house of a local citizen. “Army troops held their fire and started evacuating civilians from the target area,” the Army said.

The Army said two AK series weapons and one pistol were recovered from the encounter site. 

The slain militants were identified as Aasif Ahmad Reshi from Bijbehara’s Sheikhpora Marhama area and Wakeel Ahmad Bhat from Anantnag’s Naibasti Marhama. Both were affiliated to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

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