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Poonch ambush: Security forces initiate fresh searches along IB, LOC

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Poonch/Jammu: Fresh searches were launched along the border with Pakistan in Samba and Poonch even as cordon and search operations continued for the seventh straight day on Wednesday to track the terrorists involved in last week’s ambush that killed four soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has flown to Rajouri to visit ground zero on Wednesday along with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and Army chief Manoj Pande to review the security situation following the terror attack.

“Security forces are continuing the cordon and search operation to track down the terrorists involved in the ambush on Army vehicles,” a senior official told PTI.

The operation includes sniffer dogs, surveillance equipment and aerial mechanisms. Additional forces have been deployed to plug seven infiltration routes amid area domination operations in the area.

Mobile internet services will remain suspended in Rajouri and Poonch for the fifth day in a row.

Security forces and special operation groups have launched search operations at three places along the International Border (IB) in Samba district since this morning, officials said.

They said that this has been done as a precautionary measure due to the intense fog along the borderline, they said.

Security forces have also launched fresh search operations along the LoC in Kirni sector in Poonch following reports of suspicious movement in the area, they said. The operations are going on, they said.

Officials said the defence minister is likely to review the security situation at a high-level meeting at Raj Bhawan after his visit to Rajouri and Poonch to meet the families of three civilians who were found dead during the anti-terror operation in the area. Singh will also meet a delegation of selected people, they said.

Three civilians picked up by the Army for questioning after the terrorist ambushed two Army vehicles on Thursday at Dhatyar Morh between Dhera Ki Gali and Buffliaz in Poonch were found dead on Friday sparking outrage.

The defence minister’s visit follows Chief of Army staff (CoAS) General Manoj Pande’s visit to ground zero in Poonch on Monday where he reviewed the anti-terrorist operation under way in Surankote and nearby Rajouri district’s Thanamandi forest belt.

General Pande asked security personnel to remain resolute and steadfast against all challenges.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has announced compensation and jobs to the families of the dead civilians. It said the medico-legal formalities were conducted and legal action on the matter has been initiated.

The Army has ordered a thorough internal investigation into the civilian deaths and said it is committed to extending full support and cooperation in the conduct of the investigation.


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