Explosions and heavy firing was reported from Mendhar forests of Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir as Army's massive search operation to track down hiding terrorists entered its 15th day today.
This is one of the longest and toughest operations that security forces have engaged in J&K in last 18 years. Nine soldiers, including two officers, have been killed in encounter where terrorists are believed to be well entrenched in a dense forest area.
Yesterday, two policemen and an army soldier were injured after they came under firing by terrorists, police said.
According to police, they had taken an arrested terrorist Zia Mustafa to the encounter site for "identification of a terrorist hideout" when they came under fire.
Zia, who was shifted from Kot Bhalwal Central Jail Jammu to Mendhar on police remand, was also injured but he couldn't be evacuated due to heavy firing, police said.
Later in the evening, police recovered the body of Zia Mustafa, who spent his last 18 years in a jail.
It's unclear how a former terrorist (resident of PoK) who was in jail for 18 years was in know of terrorist hideout in Poonch forests.
A group of heavily armed terrorists are believed to be well entrenched in these forests for last three months.
Despite massive offensive by the army for last two weeks no terrorist has been killed so far.
Home Minister Amit Shah, who is on a three-day visit to the Union Territory, has vowed to wipe out terrorism from the region. He said the news from Kashmir has changed from terrorism to development in last two years after the centre scrapped J&K's special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.