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Two Hizb militants held in Kishtwar; arms, ammunition recovered in Poonch

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Jammu: Amid heightened security measures ahead of Independence Day, security forces arrested two “newly recruited” Hizbul Mujahideen militants on Monday and averted a “big terrorist activity” by recovering a huge cache of arms and ammunition from a hideout in Jammu region, officials said.

The success came during intensified search and cordon operations by police and other security forces in Kishtwar, Poonch, Rajouri, Samba and Jammu districts following inputs about movement of suspicious persons, the officials said.

A police spokesman said “two newly recruited terrorists affiliated with proscribed Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, Yasir Hussain and Usman Qadir of Dachhan, were arrested during a search operation from Kalaingassu area of Tander in Kishtwar district.”

He said the two went missing from their houses on August 05 and two days later it was learnt that they had joined Hizbul Mujahideen.

A case under unlawful activities (prevention) act was registered at Dachhan police station, the spokesman said.

He said reliable information was received on Sunday regarding their presence in Tander and accordingly, the police along with the Army and the CRPF launched a joint operation which led to their arrest.

A pistol, two grenades, one Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) and a wireless set were seized from their possession.

The Border Security Force (BSF) on Monday said a “big terrorist activity” ahead of Independence Day has been averted with the recovery of a huge cache of arms and ammunition from a militant hideout in Poonch district.

The recovery which included two AK-47 rifles, a Chinese pistol, four grenades and two mobile phones was made during a joint search operation in the forest area at Sangad in Mankote tehsil of Mendhar sector, Deputy Inspector General of BSF, S P S Sandhu said.

Sandhu, who is also the Public Relations Officer of BSF Jammu, said a joint operation was launched along with the Rashtriya Rifles and Special Operations Group of local police in the forest area this morning, which led to the unearthing of the hideout.

The other recoveries made from the hideout included four AK-47 magazines with 257 rounds, a pistol magazine with 68 rounds, a radio set, 13 detonators, 15 fuse detonators of Chinese grenades with levers, 12 battery mobile chargers and two nine-volt batteries, the DIG said.

The officials said the police and security forces carried out searches in Akhnoor border belt in the outskirts of Jammu following information about movement of two suspected persons at Kapakala and chowki choura.

A similar search operation by the police and the Army was in Maheshwar area of Samba along the Jammu-Pathankot highway after getting the information of suspected movement in Katli and Guwal villages in the early hours of the day.

However, nothing objectionable has been found during both the operations, the officials said.

On Friday, the security forces recovered two pistols, five magazines, 122 rounds and a silencer in a joint operation in Sarthian village of Rajpura in Samba district.

The officials said a massive search operation entered the fourth day in the forest belt of Thanamandi in Rajouri district, where two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter by the security forces last week.

“The operation is continuing in remote Pangai and adjoining villages, but there was no fresh contact with the suspected terrorists,” they said.

The operation was launched in the Thanamandi area on Friday, “following information about the presence of three to four terrorists.”

The officials said security forces are also combing the forests near the Line of Control (LoC) in Sunderbani and Nowshera areas of the district.

Four militants were killed in two separate encounters in Sunderbani and Nowshera when the Army foiled their infiltration bid in July while two soldiers were also killed in the encounters.

Security has been beefed up across Jammu ahead of the Independence Day in view of a spurt in drone activities from across the border to smuggle weapons and narcotics, besides the bombing of the Indian Air Force (IAF) station, Jammu on June 27.

Last week, Additional Director General of Police, Jammu zone, Mukesh Singh chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the overall security scenario with focus on the Independence day functions on August 15.

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