Security forces closed the Thanamandi-Rajouri road for vehicular traffic Saturday and launched a massive cordon-and-search operation in the forests of Kalaban and nearby villages.
Sources said the action was following reports on the sighting of militants in the area. Additional security forces have been rushed to the region.
Significantly, the area adjoins Dehra Ki Gali where security forces had lost five jawans, including a JCO, in firing by militants in Chamrel forests on October 11. Since then, the forces have been combing the forests between Thanamandi-DKG-Bufliaz and Bhimber Gali-Surankote-Poonch Road. On October 14, a JCO and three other security personnel were killed in an encounter with militants.
Senior police officers believe there are five to seven militants who are part of the groups that had infiltrated into the Union territory from across the LoC through Rajouri-Poonch districts. Three militants were killed by police in Rajouri’s Pangai area along the Mughal Road on August 6 and 19.