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Elite unit of Army deployed in J&K for surgical ops | India News


JAMMU: In Kathua district, a concerted search operation is underway in Machedi-Billawer area, where five soldiers, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO), were killed in an ambush on Monday.
The fallen soldiers, all natives of Uttarakhand, were Naib Subedar Anand Singh Rawat from Rudraprayag, Naik Vinod Singh and Rifleman Adarsh Negi from Tehri, Havildar Kamal Singh and Rifleman Anuj Negi from Pauri.Five other soldiers are undergoing treatment at the military hospital in Pathankot. The slain soldiers’ remains have been sent to their homes.
“Members of the Army’s elite Para unit have been deployed to conduct surgical strikes against the terrorists in specific areas,” an official source said. The search teams, backed by helicopters, drones, military dogs, snipers in ghillie suits, are focusing on dense forest areas. The teams are equipped with metal detectors following concern about improvised explosive devices planted by fleeing terrorists to hinder the search.
The search has expanded to adjoining districts of Udhampur and Kathua, including Basantgarh, Seoj, and the upper reaches of Bani, Daggar, and Kindli. Sources believe three to four terrorists executed the ambush and are part of the same group that killed a village defence guard in Udhampur’s Panara village on April 28.
J&K DGP RR Swain visited the Kathua site, where evidence of the attack and counteroffensive was visible – including bloodstains, helmets, bullet-riddled vehicles, and flattened tyres. The attack occurred around 3.30pm when terrorists ambushed the convoy when it was negotiating a bend on Machedi-Kindli-Malhar road. The terrorists, likely a group of three, took cover in thick foliage on a hill to surprise the troops with grenades and gunfire. On Tuesday, the two bullet-riddled trucks were found parked 300m apart.
Jammu has seen an escalation in terrorist activities, attributed to “intruders” from Pakistan operating in groups of three and four. These small groups remain a challenge for the security forces, with the number of local militants at its lowest in 35 years, according to sources. Of the 70 to 80 Pakistani terrorists active in J&K, nearly 55 to 60 are in Jammu zone. Since Oct 2021, at least 45 security personnel have been killed in the region.
Jammu division has been tense following four attacks through June 9, 11, and 12 in Reasi, Kathua, and Doda districts, resulting in the deaths of seven pilgrims, their local bus driver and conductor, and a CRPF constable.




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