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Jammu encounter enters fourth day

January 04, 2009 17:47 IST

The gun battle between security forces and militants near the Line of Control [Images] in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir [Images] entered the fourth day on Sunday and has already left three security force personnel and four ultras dead.

"Gun battle resumed this morning after a night-long break. Army and police have put a three-tier cordon and are zeroing in on the cave-type hideouts in Bhatidhar forests," defence sources told PTI.

Heavy fog and poor visibility are coming in the way of the security forces, they said, adding that a major assault was launched in these strong cave-type hideouts to destroy them.

There are reports of over 10 militants hiding in the area, they said, adding that intercepts decoded have revealed that some top commanders of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Al-Badr and Lashkar-e-Tayiba [Images] were holed-up there.

"We will not allow them to escape from the spot. The operation will finish after the recovery of their bodies," they said.

Apart from Romeo Force's 29th unit and 26 Rashtriya Rifles and Special Operation Group of Jammu and Kashmir police, authorities have rushed paramilitary units of the special forces to the area besides some additional troops, they said.

The militants have made strong fortifications from the natural caves against which mortar fire has not proven to be effective.

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