JAMMU, Apr 21: Security forces have launched a massive search operation in the dense forests of the Bata-Doriya area after a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch martyred five Indian Army personnel and injured one, officials said on Friday. The entire area has been cordoned off while drones and sniffer dogs are being used to sniff out the terrorists that might be hiding in the area, they said.
Officials said that a high alert has been sounded in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch amid close vigil along the Line of Control. Traffic on the Bhimber Gali-Poonch road was stopped following the incident and people have been advised to go to Poonch via Mendhar, they said. According to officials, an NIA team will visit the site of the terror attack for inspection. Five Army personnel were martyred and another was seriously injured on Thursday after their vehicle caught fire following a terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch, the Army said. The soldiers were from a Rashtriya Rifles unit deployed for counter-terror operations. The Army said the vehicle the soldiers were travelling in came under fire from unidentified terrorists and it caught fire because of the likely use of grenades. “Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande and all ranks of Indian Army salute the supreme sacrifice of five Indian Army bravehearts, Hav Mandeep Singh, L/Nk Debashish Baswal, L/Nk Kulwant Singh, Sep Harkrishan Singh and Sep Sewak Singh who laid down their lives in the line of duty at Poonch Sector yesterday,” the Additional Directorate General of Public Information (ADGPI) said in a tweet. Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said he was anguished at the loss of lives of the brave soldiers. “Their rich service to the nation will never be forgotten. My thoughts are with the bereaved families,” he said in a tweet.
Political parties have condemned the attack. On Thursday evening, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal staged a protest on the Tawi bridge in Jammu city and raised anti-Pakistan slogans.