Militants involved in J&K highway attack traced to Reasi district; three JeM terrorists killed, 12 security personnel injured

Three terrorists of pro-Pakistan Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) were killed and 12 security personnel, including three officers, injured on Thursday in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district, a day after they fired on a police party and escaped, officials said.

During a cordon and search operation, the security personnel found three terrorists who fired at two persons on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Udhampur district on Wednesday before escaping. They were tracked down to a house in Reasi district on Thursday, police said. As the security personnel narrowed down on the exact location of the terrorist, the encounter broke out.

Article 35A protest in Kashmir. Representational image. Reuters

Representational image of Jammu and Kashmir police personnel. Reuters

Twelve security personnel were injured in the operation, police said. Six CRPF personnel, including the deputy commandant and the assistant commandant, five cops, including Deputy Superintendent of Police Mohan Lal, and an Armyman were injured, they said, adding that they had been admitted to the Narayana hospital in Katra.

The army, police and the CRPF tracked the terrorists' movement using drones, helicopters and other surveillance gadgets in the bushy forests of Jhajjar and adjoining areas.

"They were finally tracked down to a house in Kakriyal area near Mata Vaishno Devi University," the officer said. The villagers were promptly evacuated from the area as the final assault on the terrorists was launched.

Earlier on Wednesday, these terrorists on board a truck had attacked a check post in Jhajjar Kotli area of Udhampur injuring a CRPF trooper and a forest guard.

The terrorists after the incident had fled into the forest belt of which Kakriyal is a part. During the operation, security agencies were informed by a villager that the terrorists had taken food and clothes and left his house on Wednesday night, a senior police official said.

Speaking to reporters, the villager said, "They came to my house at 8 pm and demanded clothes to change from their(combat) dress. They demanded food. They ate biscuits and drank water and left at around 9.10 pm."

The terrorists also demanded a vehicle, but "we told them, we do not have one," the villager said, adding that they were asked to switch off their mobile phones. The official said the family immediately informed the police after the terrorists left. The CRPF, the police and the army along with personnel from other security agencies are combing the area, he said. The official said areas and check posts along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway are on alert. More checkpoints have been created and vehicles are being searched and passengers frisked, he said

Earlier, two militants were killed on Thursday in an encounter with security forces in Sopore area of Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Chinkipora near Arampora area of Sopore township in the north Kashmir district Thursday morning after receiving intelligence input about the presence of militants in the area. The search operation turned into an encounter after the militants fired upon the security personnel.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Sep 15, 2018 08:26:55 IST

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