4 security men, 5 militants killed in Kupwara encounter

Newspoint Bureau
Srinagar, March 21
Five militants were killed and four security force personnel were martyred in an ongoing encounter which ensued on Tuesday in the frontier district of Kupwara.
A police spokesperson said that with the recovery of one more body on Wednesday evening, the total number of militants killed in an ongoing encounter has risen to five.
“The search operation by security forces was suspended last night due to darkness only to be resumed with the first light this morning in the woods in Halmatpora in Kupwara,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia told UNI.
He said fresh contact was established with militants this morning, adding two policemen and two Army jawans were injured in the exchange of fire.
“The injured were  evacuated from the area and  rushed to a hospital, where they succumbed,” they said, adding one militant was also gunned down.
Official sources said two policemen, including an officer, were also injured in the encounter, which was going on when the reports last came in.
The police spokesperson said the deceased policemen are Special Police Officer (SPO) of Jammu and Kashmir police Mohammad Yousuf and Selection Grade Constable Deepak Thesoo. The deceased Army jawans were identified asMohammad Ashraf Rather and Ranjeet Singh.
He said that following specific information about presence of militants in Halmatpora check forests, a joint search operation was launched by SOG of Jammu and Kashmir Police, Army and CRPF in the area on Tuesday.
However, when security forces were moving towards a particular area in the forest, militants hiding there, fired at them with automatic weapons. Security forces also retaliated ensuing in an encounter. Four militants were killed on Tuesday in the exchange of fire.
Sources said security forces have also launched a search operation in the adjacent forest areas, including Gulgam and Awoora, which is connected to Halmathpora forests.

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