Karkare and two others were chasing terrorists:Patil

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Mumbai, Nov 27 (UNI) Three top cops of Maharashtra were killed on the spot during an encounter last night, sprayed by bullets from the AK 47 rifles of the terrorists, while in hot pursuit.

Narrating the incident to mediapersons here, State Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, who was emotionally moved, said Anti Terrorist squad (ATS) Chief Hemant Karkare and the other two senior police officials, encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar and Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte boarded a jeep to chase the terrorists, who eluded the cops, taking the benefit of a smoke cover. Even though the officers were wearing bullet-proof jackets and had pistols, they were showered bullets from AK 47, which hit Karkare's throat. All the three officers died on the spot, he added Mr Patil said Karkare was sitting with him till 2135 hrs last night. Mr Karkare, who had worked with the research and analysis wing, was given the responsibility of the ATS, looking at his experience.

''Karkare was on his way to home when he heard about the terrorist attack and immediately moved his vehicle to Cama hospital, where police officer Sadanand Date was in the gun battle with terrorists,'' he added.

The Dy Chief Minister said Mr Date is recovering from injuries. He said the cremation of the officers will be performed with full state honours. In all, 14 cops were killed in the terrorist attacks that took place last night.

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