Terrorist Ambush in J&K’s Poonch: 5 Soldiers Killed, 2 Injured

Five people have died in the terrorist ambush on two Army trucks that occurred on Thursday in the Poonch area of Jammu & Kashmir. The incident took place in the Thanamandi neighborhood of Dera Ki Gali (DKG) during an anti-terrorist operation. The names of the slain troops are however Rifleman Chandan Kumar, Rifleman Gautam Kumar, Rifleman Birendra Singh, and Naik Driver Karan Kumar. The fifth martyr’s identification could not be readily determined.

Following their quick evacuation to hospitals, two more injured troops were transported to the Command Hospital Udhampur for medical attention. The dead soldiers’ bodies were indeed disfigured, according to Army officials.

Terrorists attacked two Army trucks transporting troops to the operation location in DKG on Thursday however at about 3:45 p.m. Soldiers were being transported by Army trucks to a cordon and search location. “From the evening of December 20 to December 23, an operation has been going on in the general region DKG (Dera ki Gali), Thanamandi, Rajouri. Terrorists opened fire on two Army trucks carrying troops as they were being driven to the operating site on December 21, about 3:45 PM. Own forces responded to the fire right away,” the Army stated in a statement.

J&K’s Poonch Terrorist Ambush

Terrorist Ambush in J&K's Poonch: 5 Soldiers Killed, 2 Injured

According to Lieutenant Colonel Suneel Bartwal, the defense PRO headquartered in Jammu, the combined search operation was started because of “hard intelligence” indicating the existence of terrorists. A truck and a Maruti Gipsy belonging to the Army were fired upon by the ultras as more personnel were being brought to the scene.

Three or four terrorists are thought to have been involved. They set up shop atop a hill and opened fire on Army vehicles negotiating a blind curve and uneven ground. They appeared to have done some scouting of the region before settling on a site with challenging driving conditions and surrounded by mountains. No one was hurt, although a civilian dumper was also hit in the gunfire.

The strategy of the Terrorist Ambush was quite similar to that of the Bhatta Durrian attack in Mendhar on April 20 of this year. Which claimed the lives of five troops. That was when the terrorists had escaped. Like in the Bhatta Durrian incident, the terrorists opened fire on the forces after first attacking the drivers and tires of the cars in an attempt to cause as many casualties as possible. But the terrorists were forced to leave the area by the counterattack of vigilante forces.

Situation

There were not many civilians in the vicinity. It made it difficult for more security force backups to get to the encounter location. The terrorists may have escaped arrest despite the area being cordoned off, according to early reports, which prompted extra forces to hurry to the scene and launch an intensive chase. The Army, police, and paramilitary forces have joined forces to launch a coordinated operation aimed at locating and eliminating the three or four terrorists said to be engaged in the gunfight. The likelihood that the attackers used local support to figure out routes, and troop movements, and to withdraw into woodlands or hideouts after the clash is being explored by investigators.

Location of the J&K Terrorist Ambush

Terrorist Ambush in J&K's Poonch: 5 Soldiers Killed, 2 Injured

The Dera Ki Gali route has been blocked to traffic in order to facilitate search activities. It is also possible that during the fierce battle, the soldiers may fight the terrorists hand-to-hand, according to the officials.

Pictures taken at the scene revealed cracked windscreens of the two Army trucks. Blood on the roadway, and shattered military helmets. According to Army authorities, the operation was continuing far into the night. They added that the targeted troops’ arms may have been taken by the terrorists and they could have fled however.

The ambush was attributed to the People’s Anti-Fascist Front (PAFF). A wing of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which is located in Pakistan. This year, the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch have suffered four such losses due to attacks. Which costing the lives of twenty soldiers, including two Army Captains.

Terrorists assassinated Principal District and Sessions Judge V K Phull. And three others in a similar spot more than 20 years ago. The twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch have suffered a number of significant terror strikes this year. Which have claimed the lives of 20 soldiers—including two captains—in a variety of events.

Azad and Mehbooba Mufti denounce the Attack

Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mehbooba Mufti, two former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, vehemently denounced the attack. Chairman of the Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP), Azad, called the tragedy “devastating.” And expressed his sincere sadness for the losses on X. The incidence of terrorism in Jammu is concerning, and we are united in our opposition to this threat.

Putting pressure on the government to act quickly and forcefully to ensure the security of all citizens. Wishing for the injured people’s quick recovery,” he uttered. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader, Mufti, called the act “terrible”. The “dastardly attack” was denounced by her, and she sent her sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the fallen troops.

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