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‘Militants who killed 5 soldiers in J&K’s Poonch got logistics from locals’

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Over 30 people have been arrested in the Rajouri-Poonch belt in connection with the militant attack that left 5 Rashtriya Rifles soldiers dead.

An army vehicle had come under fire in the Bhatadhurian village of Poonch district last week. The army vehicle had caught fire after the attack in which 5 soldiers were charred to death and one was shifted to hospital in injured condition.

After the attack, a multi-agency operation was launched while National Investigation Agency also became part of the operation.

A police official on condition of anonymity told news agency Kashmir News Trust that at least 30 locals from the Rajouri-Poonch belt have been arrested and during questioning some of them revealed that militants were staying in the Rajouri-Poonch belt for over 3 months after they infiltrated to this area from across the border.

“Before the attack, the militants stayed in the house of a local Gujjar who is in police custody,” he said adding that some locals including a local handler were in touch exchanging voice notes on their cell phones.

Choppers and drones are being continuously pressed into service during this major search operation.

‘During the investigation, it has become clear that locals provided logistics to militants and the attack was planned from Pakistan,’ police sources said adding that militants got instructions from a local handler.

Four out of five soldiers who were killed in the attack were natives of Punjab and one from Odisha. They were identified as Harkrishan Singh, Kulwant Singh, Mandeep Singh, Sewak Singh, and Debashesh Baswal.

Former Jammu Kashmir Police Chief SP Vaid said that the Poonch attack has punctured the narrative of Pakistan that non-state actors are carrying out attacks independently. He said it is clear that somebody from Pakistan establishment are helping these militants. [KNT]

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