In one of the most brutal encounters along the Line of Control in recent times, a squad of Indian Army Special Forces soldiers eliminated five heavily armed terrorists in a high-altitude snow-bound area in Kashmir. Sadly, all five soldiers were killed in the operation.
Details shared with NDTV indicate that the Army Special Forces were deployed after “footprints were noticed near the Line of Control” on April 1. The protective fence in the area which prevents terrorists from entering was submerged in snow. Army sources say the area where the incursion took place has a “razor sharp ridge line where all routes are cut off due to high snow levels.”
The group of terrorists “attempted to exploit the inclement weather as it was snowing” for two days in the area, sources said.
Search parties were launched and soldiers of the army made contact with the terrorists at 1 pm on April 1 and recovered five bags but lost contact with the terrorists. Additional troops were brought in and the area was cordoned.
On April 3, soldiers picked up the trail again at 4:30 pm and again at 6:30 pm on April 4, sources said.
Given the terrain and the challenges in the operation, the army called in Para Special Forces, the most highly trained infantry soldiers at its disposal.
“Based on visuals from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, special troops staged forward to the nearest Battalion Headquarters by air [helicopter]” as the battalion remains cut-off because of heavy snow in the area, sources said.
“At first light on 5 April, one squad following the footsteps on the snow failed to realise that they were on a cornice”, they added. The cornice broke and the soldiers of the Special Forces squad fell into a stream.