Jammu: After a lull of nearly 48 hours, a fresh exchange of fire was reported on Friday between security forces and a group of heavily armed terrorists hiding in the forested area of Mendhar in the Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The exchange of fire took place early morning and is intermittently in progress,” an official source said.
They said that Nar Kha’s forests in Bhatadhurian are very dense. The joint team of security forces comprising army, police, special operation group and paramilitary troops have cordoned the area.
Meanwhile, reliable sources said that the Army is also bombarding some of the pockets, adding, “sound of explosions can also be heard now and then”.
“Hundreds of troops are engaged in the gunfight,” sources said, adding that the cordon and search operation (CASO) is underway.
There are reports that one Army jawan has suffered injuries in the exchange of firing but there is no official confirmation in this regard.
“In view of this search operation, the highway from Bhimber Gali to Jada Wali Gali has been closed for vehicular movement,” said a senior police officer.
He said those travelling from Jammu to Poonch or from Rajouri to Poonch have been asked to follow the Dera Ki Gali route as the Bhimber Gali-Poonch road is under CASO.
“Students appearing for competitive exams are also advised to follow the same route,” police said in a message.
On Thursday, the army detained one youth for allegedly capturing pictures of vital installations and media personnel on professional duty near a gunfight site in the Bhimber Gali area.
However, one improvised explosive device was also defused by the Army in the Sawlakote forests of Poonch on Friday.
Till now eight people have been detained for allegedly providing logistics support to the terrorists.
Army Chief General MM Naravane also visited forward areas in Poonch and Rajouri districts and reviewed the overall security situation on Tuesday morning.
Nine soldiers, including two Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs), have been killed so far in the gunfight that began in the Rajouri-Poonch border districts on October 11.