The Indian Army on Saturday recovered the bodies of two soldiers who died during a counter-terrorism operation in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Thursday, the public relations office for defence in Jammu said in a statement.

“Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh of Indian Army were killed in action during search operations being conducted by the Indian Army along with Jammu and Kashmir Police in densely forested area of Nar Khas forest in Mendhar, District Poonch(J&K),” the Army said. “The operation in the area is continuing.”

This takes the toll from the counter-terrorist operation to nine, reported NDTV.

The Army had been pursuing the militants since Monday. On Thursday, after the gunfight between the armed forces and the militants, the Army lost communication with Subedar Ajay Singh and Naik Harendra Singh was disrupted.

Two other soldiers had earlier been killed in the encounter.

Multiple efforts were made to re-establish communication as the operation continued to kill the suspected militants, the Army said.

On Monday, five soldiers of the Indian Army on Monday were killed by suspected militants in the Dehra ki Galli forest area, after which the forces have been engaged in a long counter-terrorist operation.