The Indian Army suffered a major setback on Thursday when five soldiers were killed and another was seriously injured in a terrorist attack in the Bata Doriya area of Poonch. The soldiers, who belonged to a Rashtriya Rifles unit deployed for counter-terrorism operations, were traveling in a vehicle when it caught fire following the attack.
The deceased soldiers were identified as Havildar Mandeep Singh, Lance Naik Kulwant Singh, Sepoy Harkrishan Singh, and Sepoy Sewak Singh, all from Punjab. Their mortal remains were returned to their homes.
In response to the attack, a massive manhunt for the terrorists was launched, with a MI helicopter, drones, and sniffer dogs being deployed. At least 12 people were detained for questioning on Friday in connection with the incident. Officials revealed that the detained individuals were being questioned at various levels to determine the identity of the terror group, which has been active in the area for over a year and is likely to include a sniper.
The Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Dilbag Singh, and the Additional Director General of Police Mukesh Singh were camping in the neighboring Rajouri district to oversee the investigation, while a team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was also present. The agency is expected to take over the investigation.
On Friday, top army and police officials paid tribute to the deceased soldiers by laying wreaths. The attack is a reminder of the constant threat of terrorism in the region and the ongoing efforts of the security forces to neutralize it.