Army calls off Poonch operation after eight days (Second Lead)January 9th, 2009 - 1:57 am ICT by IANS
Jammu, Jan 9 (IANS) The army late Thursday night called off its operation to flush out militants hiding in a dense forest area in the frontier Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir after eight days “due to tactical reasons”. A source in the army said there was a possibility of the terrorists having slipped away from the Mendhar forest area taking advantage of the rugged terrain and bad weather.
The source said no exchange of fire had taken place with the hiding terrorists Thursday though troops had been on alert.
The troops had busted three hideouts and all they found was edible oil, dal, rice and gas cylinders. “All the caves where the militants were hiding had two openings,” the source said.
The operation in Poonch had started Jan 1 when terrorists killed two army men - a junior commissioned officer and a soldier - while they were laying a cordon.
The militants had taken away the rifle of the JCO, whose body was found two days later.
The army said four militants were also killed in the operation and one security personnel.