Intl desk, Oct 17: The Army has retrieved the bodies of the two soldiers, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO), who went missing during a fierce gun battle with terrorists on Thursday evening in India’s Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch.
The bodies were recovered 48 hours after the Army launched a major combing operation in the area and heavily pounded the forests where the terrorists were suspected to be hiding.
With the recovery of bodies, the Army casualties suffered during the ongoing counter terrorist operation has risen to nine – highest in a single encounter in recent times in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to sources, the JCO and the soldier went missing after the Army came under heavy firing from the terrorists on Thursday.
“Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh were killed in action during search operations being conducted by the Indian Army along with Jammu and Kashmir Police in densely forested area of Nar Khas forest in Mendhar, Poonch,” the army said in a statement today.
Two soldiers – Rifleman Yogambar Singh and rifleman Vikram Singh Negi – were earlier killed in action in the encounter that erupted in Poonch-Rajouri forests, four days after five army personnel were killed in action in the same area.
The Army lost contact with the JCO on Thursday evening, an officer said.
A major offensive was launched this morning in Nar Khas forest area in Mendhar. Heavy firing and explosions were heard in the area as the Army tried to flush out terrorists believed to be hiding deep in the forests.
The Army launched a combing operation in Dera Ki Gali on Monday after receiving information about the presence of terrorists there. In the initial shootout, five soldiers including a junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) were killed.
Reinforcement was rushed to the area and since then the Army is engaged in one of longest counter terrorist operations..
The Poonch-Jammu highway has been closed since Thursday evening as a safety measure.