2 soldiers killed as army clash with terrorists in J&K

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Two soldiers lost their lives as army personnel battled heavily armed terrorists, foiling an infiltration bid by the ultras on New Year's day along the Line of Control (LoC) in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The infiltrators were intercepted in Khari Thrayat forest in the wee hours when they were trying to sneak into India from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), a defence spokesman said.

"In the intervening night of December 31 and January 1, a contact was established with infiltrators in a forest in Naushera Sector.

"The heavily armed terrorists retaliated and in the ensuing exchange of fire two soldiers of the Indian Army were critically injured and later succumbed," Army's Public Relations Officer (PRO) Lt Col Devender Anand said here in a statement on Wednesday.    

The officer identified the deceased soldiers as Naik Sawant Sandip Raghunath (29) and Rifleman Arjun Thapa Magar (25).

Sawant hailed from Munde-Karhad village in Satara district of Maharashtra. He is survived by his wife Smita Sawant.

Magar (25) belonged to Rip village in Gorkha district of Nepal. He is survived by his parents.

"Naik Raghunath and Rifleman Magar were brave, highly motivated and sincere soldiers. The nation will always remain indebted to them for the supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty," Lt Col Anand said.        

Officials said the Army had launched a cordon and search operation following information about movement of suspected terrorists.

Reinforcements have been rushed to the area and a massive operation is on to track down the terrorists, they said.

Eighty-three security personnel had lost their lives in anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018, according to J-K Police.

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