Where: Jammu and Kashmir, India
January 08, 2009 : While we hope and pray for peace in the New Year, Indian troops are engaged in battle with a group of militants in the forested Mendhar sector of Poonch district in Kashmir. The gun battle broke out on 1 January, 2009, and entered its eighth day today. The militants, it is believed, are senior commanders of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The Indian Army besieged the Pati Tar peak in the middle of a forest after receiving information about the presence of the hardcore militants in the area.
The Times of India quotes a senior Indian Army official as saying that the army was trying to “minimise the casualties and wear out” the terrorists. Only 350 soldiers are engaged in the action, and there are no plans to begin air strikes, he added. Four militants and three army personnel were killed in the first two days of the operation. The “weather and tough terrain” are proving to be major hurdles for the Indian Army, the official said. He also said that the terrorists are using caves as hide-outs.