Security agencies battling terrorists in the Bhata Dhurian forest of Jammu & Kashmir’s Poonch district in what has become the longest-ever continuous anti-terror operation suspect that the large group of well-trained terrorists they are fighting are working under the operational leadership of retired Pakistan Army personnel.
The operation, which began on October 11, was into its 15th consecutive day on Monday with fresh firing erupting between the heavily armed terrorists and security forces. Previously, the nine-day Bhatti Dhar operation of December 2008-January 2009 was the longest operation but the terrorists had managed to flee in 2009.
Sources said the security agencies have adopted a “wait and watch” policy in view of the heavy losses they have already suffered. Nine Army personnel, including two JCOs, have been killed since the operation commenced. A day earlier, two police personnel and one Army jawan were injured, while one jailed terrorist, who had been taken to the encounter site to identify the hideout, had been killed in firing.
The arrested terrorist, Pakistani citizen Zia Mustafa, had been in jail for the past 14 years. In contrast, the security forces said they had killed four terrorists in nine days.