Army suffers more casualties in Poonch-Rajouri districts than in Kashmir valley
Only six army men were killed in militancy violence in Kashmir since October 2021 as against 21 in Poonch and Rajouri districts during the same period.
SRI NAGAR: The twin border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed more killing of army men in militant attacks in the last one and a half years as compared to militancy-hit Kashmir. Only six army men were killed in militancy violence in Kashmir since October 2021 as against 21 in Poonch and Rajouri districts during the same period.
On April 20, a group of heavily armed militants ambushed an army vehicle in the Bhatta Durian area of Mendhar in Poonch district. The militants fired from automatic weapons and lobbed grenades towards the army vehicle. In the militant attack, the army vehicle caught fire and five soldiers were killed and another critically injured, who is undergoing treatment at the hospital.
It was the sixth militant attack in the twin districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu province since October 11, 2021. On October 11, 2021, five soldiers including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) were killed in a gunfight with militants at Surankote in Poonch.
Three days later, two army men were killed and two army men including a JCO went missing during an encounter with militants during combing and search operation in Dera Ki Gali forest area of Poonch.
On October 15, the two missing soldiers including JCO were killed by militants in the Poonch forest area. On October 30, two army men including an officer were killed in an explosion in Kalal, Nowshera area of Rajouri district. Nearly 10 months later (August 11, 2022), militants carried out a fidayeen (suicide) attack on an army camp in Rajouri in which five soldiers were killed. Two attackers were also killed in the fidayeen attack. While there has been no trace about the militants involved in this months’ attack on an army vehicle in Poonch, there was also no trace of the militants involved in other attacks on the army in Poonch and Rajouri in the last one and a half year.
A security official said either the militants involved in the attack might have returned back to Pakistan after carrying out the attack or are hiding in the caves in the dense forest area. In contrast, the army has suffered only six casualties in Kashmir since October 2021. Of the six soldiers killed, one was an off-duty jawan