Srinagar, May 05: Former J&K chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, and former ministers Altaf Bukhari and Sajad Lone on Friday expressed grief over the death of five soldiers during a gunfight with terrorists in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.
“Tragic news from Rajouri where 5 army personnel have laid down their lives in the line of duty. Terror is a scourge that has blighted numerous lives over the decades in J&K & deserves unreserved condemnation. I send my sincere condolences to the families of those we lost today,” wrote Omar Abdullah on Twitter.
“Deeply saddened by the tragic news from Rajouri. My thoughts are with the families of the brave soldiers who lost their lives in the ongoing encounter. Their sacrifice for the safety of our nation will never be forgotten,” tweeted Altaf Bukhari.
“Terrible news coming in. My deepest condolences to the families of those who died in the line of duty,” wrote Mehbooba Mufti on Twitter.
"We strongly condemn the act of terror in Rajouri. These are senseless acts of violence perpetuated by lunatics. And they will inshallah rot in hell," said Sajad Lone.
"The martyrdom of our 5 brave soldiers in an encounter in the Kandi Kesari Hill, Rajouri is extremely heart-wrenching. I pay my humble tribute and express my deepest condolences to their bereaved families," said Vikar Rasool.
Five soldiers were killed and another injured after terrorists detonated an explosive device during a gunfight in Kandi area of Rajouri, army said.
“Indian Army columns have been conducting relentless intelligence based operations to flush out a group of terrorists involved in ambush on an army truck in Tota Gali area of Bhata Dhurian in Jammu region,” said an official.
“On specific information about presence of terrorists in the Kandi Forest in Rajauri Sector, a joint operation was launched on 03 May 2023. At about 0730 hours on 05 May 2023, a search team established contact with a group of terrorists well entrenched in a cave. The area is thickly vegetated with rocky and steep cliffs,” he added, in a statement.
He said the terrorists triggered an explosive device in retaliation. “The Army team has suffered two fatal casualties with injuries to four more soldiers including an officer,” he said.
“Additional teams from the vicinity have been directed to the site of encounter. The injured personnel have been evacuated to Command Hospital, Udhampur.”
As per initial reports a group of terrorists are trapped in the area. There is a likelihood of casualties in terrorists group.
Later, the spokesman said that three injured soldiers succumbed, taking the toll to five.