4 'fidayeen' killed in Sunderbani encounter
Sunderbani, Mar 28 : Four militants, who were part of a suicide squad, were today killed in a day-long encounter with security forces in the Sunderbani area of Rajouri district, the police said.
The fidayeen, or suicide attackers, had infiltrated into the Indian territory from across the Line of Control (LoC) about four-five days ago, prompting security forces to launch a search operation in the area.
Authorities had ordered the closure of educational institutions in the Sunderbani tehsil in view of the search operation.
This is the second major militant attack in the Jammu region this year.
"Security forces today eliminated a group of four fidayeen in the Sunderbani area in a well-coordinated day-long operation," Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Rajouri, Yougal Manhas told PTI.
"Four terrorists have been killed in the encounter," J&K's Director General of Police (DGP) S P Vaid confirmed.
The encounter broke out in the Nowshera-Sunderbani belt after the group of infiltrating militants was intercepted by the security forces early today, the DGP said.
The SSP said the search operation in the villages of Sunderbani had been going on for four days. Last night, a joint column of police, Army and BSF launched a search in the Rawariya Talla area near a security establishment on the basis of a strong input.
"Today morning, the terrorists, who were hiding in the bushes, fired at a search party, following which the police, Army and BSF cordoned off the entire area. Reinforcements were rushed to the spot and a fierce gunfight started," Manhas said.
In the day-long operation, four militants of a fidayeen group were gunned down. Their identities are yet to be ascertained, the officer said.
The SSP said the police suspect the militants are foreigners.
"The terrorists were carrying a big stash of arms and ammunition to carry out a major attack which has been foiled successfully," the SSP said.
Security forces recovered their bodies and a large cache of arms and ammunition from the spot, he said.
DIG Rajouri (Poonch range) D K Slathia supervised the operation.
Manhas said three bags containing ammunition and explosives were recovered from outside a CRPF camp in Sunderbani.
According to reports, a security guard manning the gate of the CRPF camp at Sodra fired warning shots and raised an alarm on detecting suspicious movement near the paramilitary facility.
Manhas said the police and other security forces had been conducting a combing operation to track down the militants for four to five days.
CRPF PRO Ashish Kumar Jha denied media reports that the militants had attacked the paramilitary CRPF camp in Sunderbani.
Earlier in the day, Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Shahid Iqbal Choudary ordered the closure of all educational institutions in the Sunderbani sector in view of the search operation.
Last night, two militants had entered the house of Bushan Kumar Sharma in the Bunpori-Yoginallah area in Sunderbani and forced the family to prepare food for them, according to reports.
Police officials said the militants were continuously changing hideouts to dodge the police.
"Terrorists carrying AK rifles entered our house around 08:50 last night and demanded food and money. We were very afraid. My wife fell unconscious," Sharma told reporters here.
"They told us they had come from a BSF camp," he said.
This is the second biggest militant attack in the Jammu region this year.
On February 10, a group of militants had attacked the Sunjwan Army camp, killing five jawans and a civilian. Three militants were also gunned down by the security forces.