“Firing continued for 20 min, kids started crying”: Eyewitness to Poonch terror attack shares chilling details

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Poonch (Jammu and Kashmir): A local in Pooch, who saw the ambush and the firing on an Indian Air Force (IAF) convoy by terrorists unfold before his own true eyes, shared chilling details of what went down during the dastardly attack.

The attack in the Surankote area of Poonch left five Air Force personnel grievously injured, one of whom, Corporal Vikky Pahade, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital. Speaking to ANI on Wednesday, a local in the Jaran Wali Gali area of Poonch, who only identified himself by his first name Asgar, said the gunfight between the security forces and terrorists continued for approximately 20 minutes.

“We were scared as a fierce gunfight erupted and continued for about 20 minutes. I later came to know that a few of our soldiers were injured and one of them later succumbed to his injuries. My children started crying as the gunfire rang out. I can’t specifically say how many terrorists were there as I couldn’t spot them in dense foliage,” the eyewitness.

Claiming that it was the first such encounter to have broken out in the area, Asgar added, “I fear for the safety of my children as I wake up every morning. Vehicles ferrying essential supplies to this remote area have stopped rolling in since the attack, giving us more worries over sourcing our daily supplies. Since I am on night duty, I fear for my safety even more. The forces are still carrying out searches (for the terrorists behind the Poonch attack) everywhere. I pray God gives better sense to such people who believe in senseless violence. The officer who lost his life in the terror attack was also someone’s husband, brother and son. The terrorists come prepared to die but also claim the lives of innocents.”

Also coming out in praise of the Air Force personnel, who routinely travel and move on this route, the eyewitness to the Poonch ambush said whenever a convoy passes through this area, the air warriors stop to catch up with children, gifting them toffees.

“I live here and the forces pass through this day every day. The Air Force personnel often stop to catch up with my children and give them toffees. We are deeply saddened that four of our soldiers were injured and one of them perished. May the wrath of God befall those who orchestrated this attack,” he added.

Corporal Pahade’s last rites were performed in his hometown Chhindwara, in Madhya Pradesh, with full military honours, on Monday. The mortal remains of the fallen soldier were brought to Nagpur by a special aircraft from Udhampur, from where they were brought to Chhindwara by a special army helicopter.

Chief Minister Mohan Yadav led the tributes to the fallen braveheart while a huge crowd of locals gathered to bid him a tearful goodbye. The manhunt for the terrorists behind the Poonch ambush is still underway, according to sources.

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