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Searches in Poonch forests continue to flush out militants: officials

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Jammu: Searches continued for the second day at Bhata Dhuria forests in Mendhar sub-division of Poonch on Friday as intermittent firing was reported in the dense woods, officials said.

Officials said that extensive searches were conducted in the Bhata-Dhuria forest area in Mendhar sub-division of Poonch district after the killing of two soldiers on Thursday evening.

“Firing was reported in the area of operation intermittently,” KNO quoted a defence official saying. “Given the fact that the area is tough in terrain and it’s a forest area, the operation is a deliberate one to avoid casualties,” the official added.

In the wake of the ongoing operation, authorities have closed the Jammu-Rajouri-Poonch national highway 144 from Bhimber Gali to Surankote as a “precautionary measure.”

On Thursday evening, two soldiers including a Junior Commissioned Officer were killed in the initial exchange of firing at Bhata-Dhuria forest area of Surankote.

Meanwhile, the officials said that search operation continued for the fifth consecutive day on Friday at Dera Ki Gali near the border area of Poonch and Rajouri district where five soldiers including a JCO were killed on October 12 in an encounter with militants.

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