Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir
Security forces continued their search operation in Anantnag forest on Day 7 I File Photo

Security forces comb through Anantnag forest on Day 7 of J–K operation

Even as two–three terrorists are believed to be trapped in the forest area, three officers and a soldier have lost their lives in one of the longest anti-insurgency operations in the Valley

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In one of the longest anti-militancy operations in Jammu and Kashmir that has claimed the lives of three officers and a soldier, security forces scoured through the dense forests of Gadole in Kashmir Valley’s Anantnag district for the seventh day on Tuesday (September 19).

Two bodies were found from the forest area on Monday (September 18). One was identified as Pradeep, the soldier killed by terrorists last week. The identity of the other is yet to be ascertained, officials said.

Police officials have maintained silence on the operation for the last four days. They believe two to three terrorists are trapped in the forest area.

The operation started on Wednesday (September 13) last week when Colonel Manpreet Singh, commanding officer of 19 Rashtriya Rifles, Major Ashish Dhonchak and Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police Humayun Bhat were killed by terrorists. Pradeep went missing on the first day of the encounter and was believed to have been killed.

Officials had said earlier that drone footage showed a charred body near one of the terrorist hideouts destroyed during the operation. Security forces are using drones and helicopters to survey the dense forest area with several cave-like hideouts where terrorists are believed to have been holed up since the operation began.

On Sunday (September 17), the security cordon was extended to the neighbouring Posh Kreeri area as a precautionary measure to ensure the terrorists are not able to slip into civilian areas.

Addressing a function in Srinagar late on September 17 evening, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said every drop of blood of the slain security personnel would be avenged and the terrorist handlers will have to pay a heavy price. “We have complete faith in our soldiers.... The entire nation stands in solidarity with the jawans,” Sinha said.

Top officials of the security grid in Kashmir, including the director general of police (DGP) and general officer commanding (GOC) of the Army's 15 Corps, have been monitoring the operation.

(With agency inputs)

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