Mendhar encounter: Day 13 | Arms, ammunition recovered; dense forest provides cover to militants

Mendhar encounter: Day 13 | Arms, ammunition recovered; dense forest provides cover to militants
The seizure was made while the encounter between security forces and militants in Bhata Dhurian entered the 13th day.ANI

Rajouri: Security forces on Tuesday recovered arms and ammunition from the site of ongoing encounter in Nar forest area of Bhata Dhurian in Mendhar sub division of Poonch.

The seizure was made while the encounter between security forces and militants in Bhata Dhurian entered the 13th day.

Meanwhile, the dense forest cover of Nar, located along Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch National Highway, seemingly has become a safe zone for militants, providing them a good cover despite the fact that forces stand deployed all around it (forest).

Earlier in the day, the police, in an official statement, said that some arms and ammunition were recovered during searches in the area.

“In the ongoing anti-terrorist operation at Bhata Dhurian Nar forests of Mendhar sub division of Poonch district, the army and police here have recovered arms and ammunition from the encounter site,” SSP Poonch Dr Vinod Kumar said.

“The recovery included one AK-47 (under-fold) with magazine, 29 AK rounds, 2 grenades, 4 biscuit packets, sling, socks, T-shirt full sleeve, Reebok jacket, blankets, tiffins, two pairs of shoes, one single shoe, 2 detonators and 2 syringe,” SSP said in the official statement.

“Searches continue in the area,” SSP further informed.

An encounter between the security forces and the militants started at Chamrer forests during a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) on the intervening night of October 10 and 11. Five army personnel were killed in this encounter. Later another encounter began on October 14 at Bhata Dhurian Nar forests in which four army personnel were killed.

The anti-militancy operation in the area was going on for the last 13 days. Meanwhile a Pakistani militant Zia Mustafa was also killed on the encounter site where he was taken to identify the location of hiding militants on October 24.

But so far the success eluded the forces in tracking the militants hiding inside the forests. Officials said that this was happening due to dense forests, which were acting as a good cover for militants.

The forest is of pine trees with some bushes at base, two small rivulets flowing from it surrounded by some natural caves and hides.

The forest, which was once a hotbed of militancy, is completely surrounded by security establishments. Still the militants have managed to convert it into a safe zone due to the dense green cover. The said forest on one side is having an establishment of Territorial Army and the establishment of Rashtriya Rifles on the other side. On the opposite side, another high security establishment of a brigade is there while its north-west side has a police station in its vicinity. Road Opening Parties, Highway domination parties also remain deployed on a usual basis in the area.

Notwithstanding it, this forest area has become a safer zone for militants, hiding there for the last around two weeks and engaged in a gun-battle but still away from the hands of forces.

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