Lt col, 2 soldiers and five militants killed in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Aug 22 (UNI) A Lt Colonel, two soldiers and five militants were killed in a day-long fierce gunbattle in the woods in Machil sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

The operation was still going on when reports last came in, a defence ministry spokesman told UNI.

He said troops of 45 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) launched a search operation in the forest area at Machil this morning following a tip-off about the presence of militants there.

When the area was being sealed from all sides, militants opened fire and also hurled grenades.

Troops also retaliated and the fierce encounter was going on, he said.

The spokesman said so far five militants were killed.

A soldier also laid down his life and four others, including a Lt Colonel were injured.

The officer was still leading the troops from the front despite in injured condition, he said.

The officer and other jawan succumbed, he said.

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