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Killing of IAF corporal, village defence guard: Search operation intensified in Jammu

Killing of IAF corporal, village defence guard: Search operation intensified in Jammu
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Jammu, May 7 (PTI) Security forces have intensified the search operations in the twin-border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu region to track down the terrorists responsible for attacking an IAF convoy that claimed the life of a corporal rank personnel, officials said on Tuesday.

The agencies have also expanded the scope of operation to various areas of Doda, Udhampur, and Kathua districts to track down two groups of terrorists involved in the killing of a village defence guard (VDG) in the Basangarh area on April 28.

Terrorists targeted an Indian Air Force (IAF) convoy in the Shaistar area of Poonch district, resulting in the killing of an IAF corporal and injuries to four others on Saturday.

Armed with surveillance equipment, including drones and sniffer dogs, the search operation, which entered the fourth day on Tuesday, has been intensified in Shahsitar, Gursai, Sanai, Lasana, and Sheendara top in the Surankote belt and adjoining areas in Poonch district, officials said.

While some dense forest areas have been scanned and routes towards Kashmir have been plugged, there has been no trace of the terrorists involved in the attacks so far, they added.

Twenty-two people have been detained for questioning and the authorities are reviewing some CCTV footage for leads, they said.

Posters offering a cash reward of Rs 20 lakh for any information leading to the arrest of the two individuals, believed to be the prime suspects, have been put up in Surankote, they said.

In Rajouri, security forces have launched a fresh search operation and put troops on alert following reports of suspected movement of two people in Sada and Kandi areas that have been cordoned off.

Security measures have been tightened with increased checking of vehicles on busy roads, especially on the Jammu Rajouri-Poonch national highway, which is vital for the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch — part of the Anantnag parliamentary constituency going to polls on May 25, they said.

On April 28, a village defence guard (VDG) was killed in a brief encounter with terrorists in the remote Panara village in Udhampur district.

Security agencies have expanded the scope of the search operation to various areas of Doda, Udhampur, and Kathua districts to track down the terrorists.

The ongoing search operation, which entered its 10th day on Tuesday, has been extended to the Bhalessa areas of Doda district, while operations continue in Basantgarh, Dudu, Bani, and Seoj areas of Udhampur and Kathua districts, officials said.

However, there has been no breakthrough in the search so far, they said.

Additional Director General of Police (Jammu zone) Anand Jain had earlier said that the two groups of terrorists are believed to be present in the area after recently infiltrating from across the border, with each group consisting of four and six members, respectively.

The twin districts have witnessed several major terrorist attacks in the past two years, indicating a resurgence of terror activities in the region, which was once declared terrorism-free and remained peaceful between 2003 and 2021.



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