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SOURCE: AFI

In Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district, the ongoing encounter with terrorists has extended into a grueling six-day standoff. The terrorists have taken refuge in a cave-like structure situated atop a steep hill within the dense Gadul forests in Anantnag’s Kokernarg area.

The security forces are grappling with a challenging and tactical disadvantage due to the difficult terrain. The hill’s steep incline offers only a narrow pathway to access the terrorists’ hideout, which is itself a cave-like structure. Moreover, the thick jungle and the perilous valley below pose additional challenges. These factors have led to the prolonged duration of this operation.

Nonetheless, the security forces remain resolute in their mission to eliminate the terrorists. Reports indicate that at least one terrorist has been neutralized, with a charred body discovered near their hideout, believed to be one of the terrorists. While the security forces estimate the presence of 2-3 terrorists, including an LeT commander, some experts suggest the number could be higher. The terrorists are presumed to possess advanced combat training and were well-prepared, stocking ample supplies of food and ammunition to sustain themselves for an extended period.

The operation was initiated on the night of September 12-13, resulting in the loss of at least four security personnel, including Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Ashish Dhonchak, and Kashmir police DSP Humayun Bhat. One soldier is reported as missing, and another is hospitalized.

To locate and neutralize the terrorists, the Army has deployed para commandos and advanced weaponry. Drones are being utilized to pinpoint the precise location of the terrorists, while helicopters continuously monitor movements atop the hill.

Simultaneously, the Army has expanded the scope of the search operation to nearby villages to prevent the terrorists from escaping or receiving external assistance. According to sources, the operation is in its final stages and may conclude at any moment, as the security forces remain determined to bring the standoff to a successful close.