Encounter between militants, troops goes on in Surankote; 4 ultras trapped

Pak targets Sunderbani, Poonch villages
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Nov 18: The gun-battle between the a terrorists’ group and security forces was going on, at the higher reaches of Surankote in district Poonch since last night while Pakistani troops targeted some Indian villages in Sunderbani, Akhnoorand Poonch areas today.
Official sources said that some locals noticed a group of three to four armed militants in Marha area near Bafliaz in Surankote Sub Division late last evening. The Army and Special Operations Group of J&K Police launched joint operation at around 11 pm. The militants fired upon the security forces and after exchange of firing for some time, the guns fell silent.
Today during the day, a massive search operation was launched by the troops from Thannamandi side, units located in Surankote sector along with jawans of SOG Poonch. The search operation was going on till late this evening but no recovery could be made or contact establish with the armed militants. The locals of the area however, claimed that entire 5-7 kms of the area has been cordoned by the Army and police on the higher reaches of Marha forests, Bafliaz, Dera Gali, Nandansar and Sukhsar areas. The search parties spotted the foot prints of the militants at some locations and the operation was still in progress. The troops located along Mughal Road and Pir Ki Gali have also been alerted.
A senior Police officer said that about three dozens of empty cartridges of AK-47 rifles used by the ultras were also recovered from two locations. After first contact with the security forces last night, the militants could not be traced till this evening. He believed that militants might have been slipped way from the cordon towards Shopian in Kashmir.
Defence PRO, Jammu Lt Col Anand when contacted said that cordon operation which was launched by the troops during last night in Surankote area of Poonch sector was still in progress. He said no much success could be achieved till now but the troops were on the job. The operation has not been called off as yet. He disclosed that during exchange of firing, no casualty or injury to anybody has been reported.
Meanwhile, Pakistani troops resorted to mortar shelling on Kirni, Qasba and Shahpur villages near the Line of Control in Poonch sector late this evening. The firing which started at around 8.15 pm was still going on. The Indian troops were giving effective response to the Pak shelling. No loss of life or any major damage has been reported.
During the day, the Pak troops also targeted some villages in Sunderbani and Jogwan area of Akhnoor. The locals disclosed that light arms firing and mortar shelling started in this LoC belt at around 4.15 pm. The Indian troops also retaliated and the exchange of intermittent firing went on for about an hour. However, no loss of life or injury to anybody has been reported. The shelling on Indian villages by Pakistan created scare among the border villagers who confined themselves inside their houses and took shelter in bunkers.