Anantnag encounter: The encounter has entered its sixth day

New Delhi: Security forces have now reached close to the hideout of terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag where they had targeted their bombs and shells to drive them out, sources said. An operation against terrorists is going on since late Tuesday night deep inside the dense forests of Gadol area of Kokernag in Anantnag.

The encounter has entered its sixth day, with thousands of troops including para commandos locked in an endless gunfight with terrorists.

Three officers, including two from the Army and a policeman, have been killed in action in an attempt to neutralise the terrorists.

Profile of Terrorists

The heavily armed terrorists, believed to be two-three in number, are hiding in a tactically favourable location in the dense and steep forest.

They are believed to be affiliated with Lashkar-e-Taiba as one of them is one of them is Uzair Khan, who joined Lashkar last year and is well aware of the area.

Cautious Approach

It has been raining intermittently at the encounter site since Saturday, which is causing a lot of difficulty in the operation. Especially on these hills of Pir Panjal, there are dense forests, caves, and ditches, due to which the visibility reduces considerably and makes the operation riskier.

Army sources said that there is no firing from terrorists, but until that area is completely sanitised, army personnel cannot go there. It's possible that the terrorist may be alive and hiding to fire secretly. They may even have planted an improvised explosive device (IED) in the hideout and set it to explode when the soldiers reach there. This is why the army is moving very slowly, sources said.

Army dogs and equipment to detect explosives are also being used to clear the area.

Security forces suspect that the hide out may have dead bodies of the terrorists. Even if they aren't dead, it would be very difficult to escape as the army has cordoned off the entire area.

Action So Far

The troops have fired hundreds of mortar shells and rockets, targeted suspected terrorist hideouts with hi-tech equipment, and dropped explosives using advanced drones.

The Army has even released a picture of the drone being used in the operation.

The joint operation by Army and police began Tuesday night based on intelligence input, followed by an attempt to approach the terrorist hideout next day. The terrorists who appear to have anticipated the action opened fire on the forces, caught between the dense forests and hill on one side and a deep ditch on the other.