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Updated December 27th, 2023 at 18:47 IST

Security forces employ cutting-edge tech to counter terrorists' exploitation of natural caves

Security forces are intensifying measures to counter terrorists exploiting natural caves in Poonch and Kokernag.

Reported by: Zeenat Zeeshan Fazil
Jammu police
Security forces employ cutting-edge tech to counter terrorist exploitation of natural caves | Image:PTI/Representative
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Security forces are intensifying measures to counter terrorists exploiting natural caves in Poonch and Kokernag. Advanced technology and collaborative strategies are being employed to dismantle these strategic hideouts.

Insiders within the security establishment have revealed a significant shift in strategy. Security forces are actively adopting cutting-edge technology to counter the unconventional threat posed by terrorists using natural caves.

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“Ground-penetrating radar and thermal imaging are now being utilized to detect hidden chambers within the caves, providing security forces with crucial insights into the terrorists' hideouts,” sources said.

Underlining the urgency of the situation, Army Chief General Manoj Pande during his visit to Jammu recently, issued a directive to commanders on the ground, emphasizing the immediate need to dismantle these terrorist hideouts.

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“The natural caves, particularly in the Rajouri-Poonch region, have become a significant challenge for security forces, necessitating a strategic and coordinated response,” he added.

Recent encounters in Poonch, Jammu, and Kokernag, Anantnag in south Kashmir have also exposed a disturbing trend wherein terrorists are exploiting the challenging terrain, transforming natural caves into strategic hideouts.

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“In both incidents, joint security forces encountered similar challenges as terrorists opened fire indiscriminately when the forces approached, leading to casualties due to the absence of cover on the narrow paths leading to the caves," disclosed sources.

Giving insight details on the terrorists operating in the forested regions of Rajouri-Poonch, specifically within the Pir Panjal range, Defense experts have disclosed that these areas have emerged as focal points for terrorist activities since Oct 2021.

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“The natural caves within this region function as shelters, both before and after strikes, presenting a substantial challenge to counter-terrorism operations,” said a Defense expert.

Meanwhile, the Dera Ki Gali forest has become a focal area for security forces, successfully revealing numerous hideouts within natural caves over the past decade.

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“As our security forces persistently unveil hidden hideouts within the natural caves of the Dera Ki Gali forest, they also send a powerful message- a message of an unwavering commitment to maintaining peace in the region,” he added.

Pertinently, over the past 26 months, the border districts of Poonch and Rajouri in Jammu have mourned the tragic loss of 36 soldiers, including officers.

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This traffic toll is the result of nine terror attacks and encounters.
From January 2023 till date, 20 soldiers have sacrificed their lives in four separate attacks, each adhering to an identical modus operandi.

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Published December 27th, 2023 at 18:47 IST

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