Army's assault dog critically injured in Anantnag encounter

Police identified the slain as Asif Ah Rishi and Wakeel Ah Bhat.
Military personnel near the gunfight site in Kashmir
Military personnel near the gunfight site in KashmirFile: Mubashir Khan for Greater Kashmir

Srinagar Oct 10: An Army assault dog was critically injured in an encounter in Tangpawa area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district in which security forces claimed to have shot dead two terrorists on Monday .

"With the persistent efforts by Intelligence agencies and specific input received from JKP, a joint operation was launched by Army, JKP and CRPF resulting in neutralisation of two terrorists. Movement of these two dreaded terrorists, infamous for their nefarious activities against the common citizens was being continuously tracked for the past few months, " an Army spokesman said.

"While the parties were approaching the target area, the terrorists sensing being exposed, attempted to break the cordon and opened indiscriminate automatic fire while lobbying grenades, resulting in injury to one brave soldier. Despite being injured, the soldier brought down accurate fire, thereby injuring a terrorist. The terrorists took forceful refuge in a house of a local citizen. Sensing the danger to the lives of innocent villagers in the area, the Army troops held their fire and started evacuating civilians from the target area. However, known for their malice intent and lack of compassion for the local population, the terrorists opened automatic fire on the civilians being evacuated. An Army jawan sprung into action to save the precious lives, in turn getting hit by the volley of fire. Nevertheless he with his team managed to ensure complete safety of civilians, " he said.

"Continuous surveillance of target house, readjustment of cordon and intermittent exchange of fire throughout the night confirmed presence of two terrorists in the house. During the period, it was spotted by own technical assets that one of the terrorist was injured. At that time, a brave fighter “Zoom”, an Army assault canine was sent into the target house to retrieve the weapon from terrorists and pull them out of hiding. Zoom approached the target stealthily and pounced upon the terrorist. Zoom was fired upon by the terrorists in hiding, thereby injuring him seriously. However, he was successful in de-stabilising the terrorists, who were then effectively neutralised by the precision fire of the troops. Valiant Zoom is presently battling for his life at a Military Veterinary Hospital, " added the spokesman.

"Subsequent search of the area yielded in recovery of warlike stores including two AK series weapons and one pistol. The detailed search is in progress to clear the area of any unexploded munition. The JKP has identified the neutralized terrorists as Asif Ah Rishi and Wakeel Ah Bhat of the proscribed terrorist outfit LeT".

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