News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » News » 5 soldiers killed in terrorist ambush in J-K; Lashkar offshoot owns attack

5 soldiers killed in terrorist ambush in J-K; Lashkar offshoot owns attack

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: December 22, 2023 00:15 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Five soldiers were killed and two injured when heavily-armed terrorists ambushed two Army vehicles in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district on Thursday, officials said.

Image used only for representation. Photograph: ANI Photo

The bodies of two of the slain soldiers were mutilated, they said.

The vehicles carrying the personnel to the site of a cordon-and-search operation came under attack at a blind curve at Dhatyar Morh between Dhera Ki Gali and Bufliaz under the jurisdiction of the Surankote police station around 3.45 pm, according to the officials.


Two former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir -- Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mehbooba Mufti -- strongly condemned the attack.

The People's Anti-Fascist Front, an offshoot of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Tayiba, claimed responsibility for the ambush.

Jammu-based defence PRO Lieutenant Colonel Suneel Bartwal said a joint search operation was launched in the general area of Dhera Ki Gali in the Thanamandi-Surankote region of Poonch on Wednesday night on the basis of "hard intelligence" about the presence of terrorists.

As additional forces were moving to the site, the ultras fired upon the Army vehicles -- a truck and a Maruti Gypsy.

The troops swiftly responded to the attack, the defence spokesperson said.

In the ongoing operation, five soldiers were killed and two injured, the officials said.

The injured have been admitted to a hospital.

The operation is in progress and further details are being ascertained, the officials said.

Disturbing images and videos emerging from the site showed blood on the street, broken helmets of soldiers and shattered windscreens of the two Army vehicles.

The officials have not ruled out the possibility of the soldiers engaging in hand-to-hand combat with the terrorists during the intense confrontation.

They said there was a possibility that the terrorists had walked away with the arms of the targeted soldiers.

As the operation continues, authorities are diligently working to gather more information and do away with the threat posed by terrorists in the region.

The ambush came weeks after a major gunfight in the Dharmsal belt of the Bajimaal forest area in nearby Rajouri district that left five Army personnel, including two captains, dead last month.

A top commander of the LeT, Quari, who masterminded several attacks, including the killing of 10 civilians and five Army personnel, and one of his associates were killed in the two-day-long encounter in November.

The stretch between Dhera Ki Gali and Bufliaz on the boundary of Rajouri and Poonch districts is densely forested and leads to Chamrer forest and then Bhata Dhurian forest, where five soldiers were killed in an ambush on an Army vehicle on April 20.

In May, five more Army personnel were killed and a major-rank officer was injured in Chamrer forest during an anti-terrorist operation. A foreign terrorist was also killed in the operation.

This year, Rajouri, Poonch and Reasi districts have witnessed a series of encounters that have left 54 people, including 19 security personnel and 28 terrorists, dead so far, the officials said, ascribing the uptick in violence to "desperate attempts from across the border" to revive terrorism in the region.

While 31 people, including 10 terrorists and 14 security personnel, were killed in Rajouri, 15 terrorists and five security personnel were killed in Poonch. Three terrorists were killed in Reasi.

Most of the terrorists were killed while attempting to sneak into the Indian side of the border, the officials said.

In October 2021, nine soldiers were killed in two separate attacks by terrorists in the forested region. While five Army personnel, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO), were killed in Chamrer on October 11, a JCO and three soldiers were killed in a nearby forest on October 14.

Taking to X to condemn the dastardly ambush of Thursday, Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) chairman Azad termed the incident "devastating" and said the casualties are deeply saddening.

"... terrorism hitting Jammu is alarming and we stand united against this menace. Urging the government to take swift and decisive action for the safety of all citizens. Praying for the swift recovery of the injured," he said.

Mufti, who heads the People's Democratic Party, described the incident as "terrible".

She condemned the "dastardly attack" and expressed her deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of the slain soldiers.

Apni Party president and former Jammu and Kashmir minister Altaf Bukhari said he was distressed to hear about the loss of the brave soldiers.

"May the departed souls be blessed with peace and the injured personnel see a swift recovery. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and at the same time urge the authorities to take enough measures to ensure long lasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir," he posted on X.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.