Amid the ongoing encounter in the forest belt of Poonch district for the last over 20 days, an army officer and a soldier were killed in a mine blast along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Nowshera sector of Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district on Saturday.

The deceased officer was a lieutenant while the soldier was a sepoy.

"On 30 Oct 2021, during an area domination patrol in Nowshera sector, District Rajouri(J&K), a mine blast occurred, wherein, two Indian Army soldiers suffered critical injuries and later succumbed to their injuries. Another soldier who received injuries was evacuated and is under treatment", Defence PRO Col Devender Anand said.

Lt Rishi Kumar and Sepoy Manjit were brave and extremely committed to the profession of soldiering and have made the supreme sacrifice for the nation in the line of active duty.
"Lt Rishi Kumar is a resident of Begusarai, Bihar. Sepoy Manjit Singh is a resident of Sirvewala, Bhatinda, Punjab.

soldiers killed in Nowshera
Defence PRO

The nation and Indian Army shall forever remain indebted to the brave hearts for their supreme sacrifice", the Defence PRO said. They were on a patrol near a forward post along the LoC when the blast took place, reports said.

First big attack on LoC after renewed cease-fire

Today was the first big attack on the Line of Control (LoC) after India and Pakistan renewed the mutually brokered ceasefire pact on February 25 this year.

It is believed that terrorists with the help of the Pakistani Army had planted mines on the LoC resulted in casualties of soldiers on this side of the border. Reports said tension flared up on the LoC in Poonch and Rajouri districts after the mine blast.

J&K encounter
Soldiers in action during an encounter with militants on the Line of Control (LoC).IANS

11 soldiers killed in October in Poonch, Rajouri

With two more deaths, the Army has lost a total of 11 soldiers, including three officers in October, in the twin border districts of Rajouri and Poonch in Jammu province.

Nine soldiers including two Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) were killed during the 20-day long encounter in the forest of Poonch district.

The operation in the forest areas in the twin border districts began on October 8 when soldiers established contact with terrorists. On October 11terrorists ambushed a search party killing five soldiers including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Surankote forest of Poonch.

On October 14, four soldiers, including a JCO, were killed by the terrorists in Nar Khas forest in another gunfight in the same year.

Drones, helicopter pressed into services

Drones and helicopters have been pressed into service to assist the marching troops, which includes para-commandos, in the forest.

Meanwhile, search operations in the Nar Khas forests near Bhata Dhurian in Poonch district intensified to track down terrorists hiding in the forest.

However, success continues to elude the security forces as terrorists hiding in the dense forest are appeared to be trained in guerilla warfare tactics, using natural caves and poor visibility to their advantage.

Army chief General MM Naravane also visited the encounter site. According to DGP Dilbag Singh, two groups of terrorists came from across the Line of Control through the Rajouri-Poonch area and they are embedded somewhere in the jungle area.