100-hour standoff in Anantnag enters day 5: Army deploys advanced equipment Unidentified charred body recovered hideout site
Post by Irfan Yattoo on Monday, September 18, 2023
Srinagar, Sept 17:In the latest development during the ongoing Anantnag encounter between security forces and terrorists, an unidentified charred body was recovered from the hideout site on Sunday. The operation, now entering its fifth day, continued as of the latest reports.
Army's Northern Command chief, Lt General Upendra Dwivedi, visited the encounter site on Saturday. During his visit, he received a briefing on the advanced equipment, including drones and firepower, being employed by troops against the terrorists.
The encounter, which has surpassed the 100-hour mark, commenced last Wednesday, with terrorists responsible for killing four security personnel, including three senior officers, on September 13. The operation has seen the deployment of drones and helicopters to track down and neutralize the terrorists.
A senior Army officer provided insights, stating that the operation was ongoing, with contact established on Sunday morning, followed by an intense exchange of fire. In the afternoon, searches were conducted in the hideout.
He stated, "a charred unidentified dead body believed to be a terrorist was recovered from the hideout. The identity of the slain is yet to be ascertained, and we will share the rest of the details later." The officer also noted the high level of training exhibited by the terrorists, particularly in challenging terrains and high-altitude warfare tactics, indicating meticulous preparation for an extended engagement.
With helicopters maintaining a continuous presence above the operation site to provide aerial support, security forces have established a comprehensive, multi-layered cordon while maintaining vigilant oversight of the two remaining terrorists yet to be neutralized, the officer added.
The operation faced additional challenges on Sunday due to the rugged, forested terrain and intermittent rainfall, further complicating an already demanding situation. The area's tight confines, surrounded by dense woodlands on one side and a steep trench on the other, intensified the complexity of the mission.
Loud explosions and heavy gunfire have periodically echoed in the serene alpine forests. As a precautionary measure, people were not allowed to move towards the encounter site.
Pertinent to mention, Colonel Manpreet Singh, commanding officer of the 19 Rashtriya Rifles unit of the Army, Major Ashish Dhonchak, Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police Humayun Bhat, and a soldier were killed in the Gadole area of Kokernag during the initial encounter.
Earlier this year in May, ten soldiers, including five paratroopers, lost their lives in twin attacks by terrorists. Despite a massive counterterrorist operation, none of the attackers could be tracked down in the dense Pirpanjal forest.