Nine soldiers including two Junior Commissioned Officers or JCOs have been killed in the line of duty, fighting these terrorists since Monday, in what has become the deadliest encounter for India’s military in Jammu and Kashmir in recent years.
It is also unclear if any of the terrorists have been killed since no bodies have been found yet. The fighting in the 8-9 km stretch of thick forest has continued despite a massive combing operation, a tight cordon and intense shelling.
In the first brush with these terrorists, five soldiers, including a JCO, were killed on the night of October 10 in the Dera Wali Gali area of Poonch, which is close to the Line of Control.
Sources in the army and the local police suggest that the fact that this group of terrorists have been able to inflict such heavy casualties while managing to evade thousands of security forces for eight days suggests they were trained by elite commandos of the Pakistani military.
Going ahead, security sources have been asked to proceed cautiously and instructed that even if the operation gets drawn out, it must be ensured there are no more casualties.
For now, the terrorists are believed to have been cornered in one area and with the help of the army’s para commandos and helicopters, security forces are optimistic about an end to the deadly encounter sooner than later, sources said.
With inputs from NDTV