Anantnag encounter Day 7: Body of missing soldier found, search ops underway

The death toll of security forces killed during operation becomes four

PTI09_17_2023_000371A Smoke rises after blast at a militants' hideout on the fifth day of the ongoing encounter between security personnel and terrorists, at Gadol Kokarnag in Anantnag district | PTI

As the Anantnag encounter enters day seven, the body of an army personnel, who had been missing since September 13 since the gunfight erupted in the Gadole area of Anantnag district was recovered.

Sepoy Pradeep Singh (27) was found dead at approximately 5 pm on Monday evening. He was part of Kokernag operation. Reportedly, two bodies were recovered from the forest and the identity of the other deceased is yet to be ascertained.

Search operations to “neutralise” the remaining terrorists in the forest hideout resumed in the area on Tuesday morning. Security forces are closing in on the hideouts and is likely to wind up the operation today.

The security forces are using drones and helicopters for surveillance of the dense forest area with several cave-like hideouts where the terrorists are believed.

According to police, there are two to three terrorists trapped in the forest area.

On day six of the Anantnag encounter, a charred body was recovered from Gadole forest. The discovery has prompted the officials to collect DNA samples from the family of Uzair Khan, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants allegedly involved in the attack.

Additional troops were deployed by the Army and police around the police and sealed off all escape routes. Aerial assets including helicopters, quadcopters, and Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAVs), such as the Israeli Heron Mark-2, are used by the forces to locate the militants' locations.

Since the Anantnag encounter, Colonel Manpreet Singh, Commanding Officer, 19 Rashtriya Rifles, Major Ashish Dhonchak and Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police Humayun Bhat were killed by the terrorists on Wednesday. 

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