2 soldiers killed in Nowshera encounter

Srinagar, Jan 1: Two Army soldiers were killed late Tuesday night in an encounter with militants along the Line of Control in Nowshera sector of Rajouri district. The soldiers were killed during a cordon and search operation.

Confirming the same, Lt Colonel Devender Anand, a defence ministry spokesperson said that the operation was still underway.

The infiltrators were intercepted in Khari Thrayat forest in the wee hours when they were trying to sneak into India from Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK), a defence spokesman said.

“In the intervening night of December 31 and January 1, a contact was established with infiltrators in a forest in Naushera Sector.

“The heavily armed militants retaliated and in the ensuing exchange of fire two soldiers of the Indian Army were critically injured and later succumbed,” Army’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Lt Col Devender Anand said in a statement on Wednesday.

The officer identified the deceased soldiers as Naik Sawant Sandip Raghunath (29) and Rifleman Arjun Thapa Magar (25).

Sawant hailed from Munde-Karhad village in Satara district of Maharashtra. He is survived by his wife Smita Sawant.

Magar (25) belonged to Rip village in Gorkha district of Nepal. He is survived by his parents.

“Naik Raghunath and Rifleman Magar were brave, highly motivated and sincere soldiers. The nation will always remain indebted to them for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” Lt Col Anand said.

Officials said the Army had launched a cordon and search operation following information about movement of suspected terrorists.

Reinforcements have been rushed to the area and a massive operation is on to track down the terrorists, they said.

Eighty-three security personnel had lost their lives in anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018, according to J-K Police. (With inputs from PTI)

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