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Poonch Terrorist Attack: One Indian Air Force soldier dies, five injured; Patrolling intensifies across J&K

Poonch Terrorist Attack: One Indian Air Force soldier dies, five injured; Patrolling intensifies across J&K
An Indian Air Force soldier who was injured in a terrorist attack in the Poonch sector in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday has unfortunately passed away, confirmed the Indian Air Force.

"An Indian Air Force vehicle convoy was attacked by militants in the Poonch district of J&K, near Shahsitar. Cordon and search operations are underway presently in the area by local military units. The convoy has been secured, and further investigation is under progress," tweeted the IAF Media Co-ordination Centre on X.

The injured personnel were evacuated to Udhampur for treatment on IAF choppers, where one of them succumbed. Another soldier is reported to be in critical condition, as confirmed by security force officials.

"In the ensuing gunfight with terrorists, the Air Warriors fought back by returning fire. In the process, five IAF personnel received bullet injuries, and were evacuated to the nearest military hospital for immediate medical attention. One Air Warrior succumbed to his injuries later. Further operations are on by the local security forces," said the IAF.

The soldier who succumbed was undergoing treatment at the command hospital at Udhampur. The remaining three are stable as per the Security Force officials, reported ANI.

Following the attack that occurred in the evening around Shah Sitar and Shashidhar areas in the Poonch sector. Security forces initiated a search and cordon operation, as stated by security forces' officials. In response to the attack, forces have increased patrolling and vehicle checks in the area.

The convoy was en route to the Sanai Top in the Surankote area of the district. The terrorists are suspected to be belonging to the same group that ambushed Indian troops in the Bufliaz area nearby on December 21, as per the Times of India report. The December attack last year had killed four soldiers and injured three.

Earlier, in November 2023, a prolonged gunfight between Indian Army and the terrorists responsible for frequent attack on civilians in the region has resulted in deaths of five army personnel, including two captains.

The Poonch sector belongs to the Anantnag-Rajouri parliamentary constituency which will vote for the Lok Sabha elections on May 25.

Congress leaders Malikarjun Kharge and Rahul Gandhi extended condolences over the death of IAF personnel. Condemning the attack by terrorists, Rahul Gandhi in a post on X, wrote, "The cowardly terrorist attack on our Army convoy in Poonch of Jammu and Kashmir is extremely shameful and sad," Rahul Gandhi said.

Former Jammu and Kashmir DGP Shesh Paul Vaid slammed Pakistan after the attack, hinting that the neighbouring country will not tolerate seeing people of Jammu and Kashmir exercising their democratic right. "It is not surprising, because the election tempo was building up in this area," said Shesh Paul Vaid in a video message posted on his official social media platform, X.

Retired Major General GD Bakshi told ANI, "From the last two-three years, we have seen that the Inter-Services Intelligence and Army of Pakistan is again reviving terrorism in the Rajouri-Poonch area. They are trying to infiltrate. Troops are alert. We have to hit across the border like the Balakot airstrike".

(With inputs from agencies)


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