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Indian Army dog Zoom passes away

The heroic story of Zoom, the army dog who kept fighting despite sustaining two gunshot wounds in an encounter with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, sadly ended on Thursday. The two-year-old Belgian shepherd died after undergoing surgery for his wounds.
Zoom’s unconditional determination to continue his task despite his grave injuries resulted in the death of two terrorists, and it has also earned him great praise on social media.

A Twitter account called Lest We Forget India, a handle that “remembers heroes, past and present, who never made it back … for flag and nation”, also paid tribute to Zoom. Zoom’ passed away at the Army Veterinary Hospital in Srinagar on Thursday. He was undergoing treatment there after sustaining gunshot wounds during an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag on October 9.

Indian Army officers on Friday laid wreath on the mortal remains of assault dog ‘Zoom’, who succumbed to gunshot injuries the day before after sustaining them during an encounter in Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir on October 9. The 29 Army Dog Unit was present during the wreath laying ceremony.

Zoom’ passed away at around 11.45am. Earlier, a senior Army officer, on condition of the dog told
‘Zoom’ sustained serious injuries, but they are “hopeful” the canine will survive.

According to a statement by the Army, ‘Zoom’ was part of a squad that has been trained to locate and take down terrorists. The Army has many such assault dog squads deployed in its Kashmir units. The Army had released a short video of ‘Zoom’ as well showing the canine along with the handler. Army officials said that ‘Zoom’ had distinguished himself within the squad with his “energy and courage” and was an “invaluable member of the team”. They said despite being a two-year-old dog, ‘Zoom’ was a veteran for having served in multiple counter operations.

During the Anantnag encounter, two terrorists were hiding inside a house and ‘Zoom’ was asked to clear the house. He not only identified the exact location but also disabled one terrorist. In the process, however, the canine sustained two gunshots. Even then, he located the other hiding terrorist and returned back from the target area before fainting due to major blood loss.

The terrorists were later killed in the encounter, and as many soldiers were also injured in the line of duty.In July, another assault dog, ‘Axel’ was killed during an operation in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. He was posthumously honoured with the ‘Mention-in-Despatches’ in this year’s gallantry awards. ‘Axel’ was the only canine to have received the bravery award. The ‘Mention-in-Despatches’ is given to recognise one’s “distinguished and meritorious service in operational areas and acts of gallantry”.

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