Search operations enter Day 3, expanded to more areas

Breakthrough remains elusive

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, May 6: Security forces continued massive search operations in different areas in twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch especially the forests surrounding Surankote to track down the terrorists involved in ambush on IAF convoy in which an IAF Warrior was martyred and five other soldiers were injured.

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However, a breakthrough remained elusive as the terrorists appeared to have escaped deep inside the forest area even though the security forces including Army, paramilitary forces and police expanded searches to more areas of the twin districts on third day today.
The streets in and around Surankote woke up to posters of two people, named as prime accused in the case, and announcement of a cash reward of Rs 20 lakh for giving information.
Though the police and the Army denied putting up these posters, officials in the know of the development said that an “enthusiastic” unit of the security forces had decided to put up the posters initially but took them down later after a reprimand from their superiors.
More than 20 persons were detained for questioning as the security forces are gathering clues to neutralise the terrorists who fled into nearby dense forests after carrying out the ambush near Shahsitar in Surankote area on Saturday evening.
Five IAF personnel were injured in the attack and one of them later attained martyrdom in the hospital.
The officials said a massive joint search operation by Army and police is in progress in several areas including Shahsitar, Gursai, Sanai, Lasana and Sheendara Top for the third day but there was no trace of the terrorists so far.
The security agencies are collecting clues which will ultimately help flush out the terrorists, they said.
The officials said all schools in the area opened as per routine this morning after a day-long break on account of Sunday.
Meanwhile, the security forces also launched a cordon and search operation at village Kathu in Dalhori area of adjoining Rajouri district following information about the presence of three suspected terrorists.
Multiple checkpoints have been set up on main roads and vehicle checking has been intensified in both Poonch and Rajouri districts which are part of Anantnag Parliamentary constituency going to polls on May 25.
The twin districts have witnessed some of the major terrorist attacks over the past two years, signalling return of terror activities to the region, which was once cleared of terrorism and remained peaceful between 2003 and 2021.

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