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Ramban encounter: 3 terrorists gunned down, hostage rescued. one Army personnel martyred

By Anuj Cariappa
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Srinagar, Sep 28: Three of the five terrorists, who were holed up for hours in a house in Batote were killed on Saturday.

The terrorists were encircled by the search parties inside a house in the main market after they managed their escape from the scene of the earlier encounter in the highway town in Ramban district, officials said.

Representational Image

"We have killed three terrorists in the gunfight which has ended. One soldier was also martyred during the action," Jammu-based Army PRO Lt Col Devender Anand told PTI.

The standoff comes days after multiple intelligence agencies warned the government that at least 60 terrorists have infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir in the last few weeks alone and another 500 are waiting to infiltrate.

He said the search operation is still going on and further details are awaited. Earlier, a police spokesman said a group of five terrorists are trapped in the town. The trapped terrorists had fired at the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of the Army in the morning and tried to escape but were chased by the security forces and encircled in a house, he said.

The officials said the fresh exchange of fire started between the holed up terrorists and the security forces at around 1 pm after intense search operation despite inclement weather. The house owner was believed to be trapped inside the house and efforts are on to evacuate him to safety, while his other family members have been evacuated to safety after they managed to come out, they said, adding the ultras had forced their entry into the house while being chased by the security forces. In the morning, the terrorists hurled a grenade and opened fire at the QRT at Dharmund village, leading to a brief exchange of fire.

A fresh contact was established with the holed up terrorists after several hours of intense search operation despite inclement weather in a village along the Jammu-Kishtwar national highway on Saturday, officials said.

"A group of five terrorists is trapped in Batote town. Joint parties of police, Army and the CRPF cordoned the area and the exchange of fire ensued," a police spokesperson said,

Three terrorists have been eliminated in Batote town of Ramban district of Jammu Zone, Ani quoted Jammu Inspector General of police (IG) Mukesh Singh as saying.

The hostage has been rescued safely. One army personnel has lost his life and two policemen injured, he added.

The terrorists, believed to be 5in number, were located by the security search parties inside a house at Batote main market around 1 pm, leading to a fresh exchange of fire between the two sides, they said.

Operational contact established in Batote market at around 12:45 pm today. 1 house identified has been isolated where a civilian is hostage. Possibly 5 terrorists are inside. They have refused to surrender so far. Exchange of firing on, Army earlier said.

The officials said heavy firing was going on between the two sides when last reports were received and further details are awaited. In the morning, the terrorists hurled a grenade and opened fire at the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of the Army at Dharmund village, leading to a brief exchange of fire.

Reinforcements were immediately rushed and the whole area was cordoned off to neutralise the terrorists, who are believed to have come from the Kishtwar side and had reportedly spent the night at an abandoned temporary shelter shed on the highway, the officials said.

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Earlier, Jammu-based defence spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand said, "Today (Saturday) morning at about 7.30 am, two suspicious individuals tried to stop a civilian vehicle at the general area Batote on the highway.

The driver was alert, did not stop the vehicle and rushed and informed the nearest Army post." "The quick reaction team reacted promptly and contact was established with the suspicious individuals," he said.

The officials said security forces came under fire from a house during the course of search operation. The house owner is believed to be present inside the house while other members have been evacuated to safety after they managed to come out, they said, adding the ultras had forced their entry into the house while being chased by the security forces.

Efforts are on to safely evacuate the trapped civilian, the officials said. The movement of the traffic on the highway was stopped following the incident as a precautionary measure, they said.

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