Four Indian Army soldiers have been killed and two others injured after suspected militants attacked two Army vehicles in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Thursday.

One of the soldiers succumbed to injuries late on Thursday, said the Indian Army’s 16 Corps, also known as the White Knight Corps.

Hours earlier, the Army had said in a statement that two of its vehicles were attacked by militants, leading to a gunfight. Three soldiers had died and three others were injured.

“An operation was being conducted in the general area Dehra ki Gali since the night of December 20,” the statement had said.

The two Army vehicles were travelling from Bufliaz in Poonch district to Thanamandi in Rajouri where a Rashtriya Rifles unit is stationed, reported The Indian Express. The area between Bufliaz and Dera Ki Gali is densely forested and runs along the boundary of the two districts.

At the same location, suspected militants had attacked a vehicle and killed Rajouri District and Sessions Judge VK Phool along with his friend and two police officials in December 2001. They were travelling from Rajouri to Poonch.

Twenty-three people, including seven militants and nine security personnel, have been killed in Rajouri since January while 15 militants and five security personnel have been killed in Poonch, according to PTI.

According to The Indian Express, 19 soldiers have died at various locations in Poonch and Rajouri districts in the last eight months alone while 10 civilians have also been killed by suspected militants in the same period.

Last month, five Army soldiers, including two captains, were killed in a gunfight in the Rajouri district. A Pakistani militant was also killed.

However, according to data presented in Parliament by the Ministry of Home Affairs earlier this month, terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir declined to a six-year low in 2023.

In a written reply to a series of questions, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said that there were 42 “terrorist initiated incidents” in Jammu and Kashmir till November 15. Last year, 125 such incidents were recorded in the region, 129 were recorded in 2021, 126 in 2020, 153 in 2019 and 228 in 2018.