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Five soldiers killed in Poonch militant attack

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Five Indian soldiers were killed while two others sustained injuries after militants ambushed army vehicles, carrying operational teams, in dense forest area on Thanamandi Surankote road, connecting twin districts Rajouri and Poonch via Dehra Ki Gali (DKG) tourist point.

The incident took place when the army was carrying out an operation in the area, following the reports of suspicious movement of militants.

Official sources said, “The incident took place at around 3.30 pm this afternoon when army vehicles, carrying operational teams, were on way towards Bufliyaz from Dehra Ki Gali.”

“These vehicles were plying from DKG to Bufliyaz side on Thanamandi-Surankote road that also connects to Mughal Road,” officials said.

The incident site is around three kilometers away from Bufliyaz, which is the take off point of Mughal Road.

“While the vehicle carrying operational teams were on way to Bufliyaz, militants fired indiscriminately on these vehicles at Danar Sawaniya morh area which is surrounded by dense forest everywhere,” the official sources said.

“Heavy exchange of fire took place at the site of the incident but militants managed to escape in the nearby forest,” they added.

“In the incident, five army personnel have lost their lives while two others are injured. They all have been shifted to the local army hospital and are under treatment there,” official sources said.

They further divulged that bodies of all five personnel, who lost their lives, were retrieved from the site of the incident and shifted to the nearest army camp.

Meanwhile, a massive deployment of army and police has been made in the area, which has been cordoned to track the movement of militants, who are believed to be three in number.

The army personnel who lost their lives in this attack have been identified as Birendar Singh, Chandan Kumar, Karan Kumar, Gautam Kumar and Sundeep Kumar.

Army, in an official statement, said, “An operation was being conducted in the general area of Dehra Ki Gali (DKG) since the night of December 20.”

“At approximately 3.45 pm on December 21, two army vehicles carrying troops were moving to the operational site which were fired upon by militants. The fire was immediately retaliated upon by own troops,” army said.

“In the ongoing operation, own troops sustained 5 fatal and 2 non-fatal casualties. Operation is in progress and further details are being ascertained,” the army statement read.

This is the second major incident on the counter-militant front in areas of Rajouri, Poonch during the last one month. Earlier on November 23 and 24, an encounter took place at Baaji Maal, Barevi in Kalakote area of Rajouri district in which five army personnel including two officers lost their lives while two militants were killed.

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