Army troops destroy two more IEDs during continued searches in Poonch forests

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BUNTY MAHAJAN

JAMMU, OCTOBER 22: As the Army troops moved deeper inside they forests at Bhata Durian in Poonch district’s Mendhar tehsil on Friday, they found and destroyed two IEDs fitted in small boxes.

“During the search operation in Bhata Durian forest by the Indian Army and Jammu Kashmir Police, two small boxes were seen,’’ said the Army PRO Lt Colonel Devender Anand. “The boxes were suspected to be the IEDs, so destroyed in situ,’’ he added.

Significantly, the troops had on Thursday recovered an IED in the forest area in Sawalkot on Ratanpir Ridge in Poonch district. The area falls in close proximity to Chamrel forests near DKG in Poonch where security forces had lost a JCO and four jawans in firing by militants on the morning of October 11.

Three days later on October 14 evening, the security forces had suffered four more fatal casualties including another JCO in Bhata Durian forests on Mendhar side of the district.

Sources said that Army troops and the police on Friday, started moving deeper inside the forests while resorting to speculative fire in search of militants. For nearly an hour beginning 8 am, they resorted to intense firing with automatic weapons and also rockets, they said, adding that there had been no response from militants.

“There has now been very little area left to search,’’ an army officer said, but ruled out troops calling off the operation in a day or two. He admitted that there has been no contact with militants in Bhata Durian forests since Saturday last.