Explosions and heavy firing reported as Poonch gunfight enters 15th day

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Photograph by Umer Asif for The Kashmir Walla.

On 15th day of Poonch gunfight explosions and heavy firing was reported even as Army’s massive search operation to track down hiding militants continues, NDTV reported.

This is one of the longest and toughest operations that government forces have engaged in J-K in last 18 years. Nine troopers, including two officers, have been killed in gunfight where militants are believed to be well entrenched in a dense forest area.

Yesterday, two cops and an army troopers were injured after they came under firing by militants, police said.

According to police, they had taken an arrested militant Zia Mustafa to the encounter site for “identification of a terrorist hideout” when they came under fire.

Zia, who was shifted from Kot Bhalwal Central Jail Jammu to Mendhar on police remand, was also injured but he couldn’t be evacuated due to heavy firing, police said.

Later in the evening, police recovered the body of Zia Mustafa, who spent his last 18 years in a jail.

Home Minister Amit Shah, who is on a three-day visit to the Union Territory, has vowed to wipe out terrorism from the region. He said the news from Kashmir has changed from terrorism to development in last two years after the centre scrapped J&K’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.

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