J&K: 2 militants, 5 security personnel killed as Handwara encounter enters third day
Srinagar, Mar 03: Two terrorists have been killed as an encounter with terrorists in Babgund area of J&K's Handwara entered the third day.
The death toll of the security forces rose to five with a CRPF trooper succumbing to his injuries Saturday night.
"Two terrorists were killed. The operation is in progress," said Army spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia.
"One more Jawan of CRPF has succumbed in hospital last night," said IG CRPF (operations), Zulfiquar Hassan.
The encounter began on Friday morning when security forces launched a search operation in the area in north Kashmir, following information about presence of militants there
In another incident, an alert sentry of an army camp opened fire after noticing "suspicious movement", but there was no loss of life or injury reported, police said.
"An alert sentry fired aerial shots after observing suspicious movement at Dachoo camp of 44 RR in Shopian," a police official said.
This comes amid escalated tension between India and Pakistan over the Pulwama terror attack, Indian Air Force's (IAF) airstrikes in Pakistan's Balakot, Pakistan entering the Indian airspace and then the capture of IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman.
Kashmir has been on tenterhooks ever since the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, in which 40 CRPF personnel died when a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist rammed into a CRPF convoy.
Over the past five days, there has been 51 violations of the ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) by Pakistani forces in Rajouri and Poonch districts, which left four civilians, including three members of a family, dead and 14 others, including eight security personnel, injured.
Amid heightened Indo-Pakistan tension, army chief General Bipin Rawat visited the Jammu-based White Knight Corps on Saturday to review the operational preparedness and exhorted all soldiers to remain vigilant.
After encounter began on Friday in Kupwara, there was lull in the firing several times during the day, but militants opened fire as soon as security forces advanced towards a house where they were hiding.
After one such lull, the militants opened indiscriminate firing on advancing team of security forces as they were closing in, injuring nine security force personnel.
A police spokesman on Friday said four security force personnel two cops and two CRPF personnel including an inspector later succumbed to injuries.
However, defence officials Friday said two army jawans were also killed in the operation.