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In Poonch, Army to wait out

india Updated: Jan 07, 2009 00:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Security forces engaged in the longest ever encounter in Jammu and Kashmir since the start of militancy 20 years ago have decided to adopted a policy of wait and watch to eliminate the militants hiding in forests in Poonch.

The encounter is going on in Bhatidhar area of Mendhar, which is 8 kms south of Line of Control in the Poonch district, for the past six days.

Poor visibility and bad weather were providing a cover to the militants.

According to the Defence Public Relation Officer (PRO) based in Udhampur, the army operations are in progress with the troops in full control of the situation.

Joint teams of Special Operation Group (SOG) of the J&K police and the Romeo force of the army based in Rajouri have cordoned of the area to make it impossible for militant to escape.

The army on Monday tried to take pictures of the hidden militants from an aerial vehicle but could not do so due to thick fog.

A plan to launch an aerial attack on the militants was abandoned due to the thick fog and rain in the area. Other reason to cancel the operation was the close proximity of the area to the LoC.

Two top militants of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Dawood and Abu Khalid were among the terrorists who are trapped. Police have claimed that Dawood was killed during the firing on Friday evening.

A retired assistant sub-inspector of police and a woman were detained on Monday for allegedly spreading rumor about leopard presence in the forest, which was killing goats and sheep of the villagers. According to police officials, the militants used to kill sheep of the villagers.