Police claimed to have “encircled” two Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists in the higher reaches of Anantnag district of south Kashmir.
Gunshots were heard in the Gadole forests of Kokernag in Anantnag district in the early hours of Thursday as reinforcements were rushed to the area to take down the terrorists who were believed to be hiding in a natural cave in the mountains, the officials said.
Helicopters were seen hovering over the Gadole forests as army and police personnel maintained a tight cordon around the area, the officials said.
Sounds of firing could be heard throughout the day but there were no reports of any fresh casualties.
According to the Indian Army, the security forces including Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police are being provided support by small quadcopters and larger drones to keep an eye on the entire area.
An Army colonel, a major and a deputy superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir police were killed in a gunfight with terrorists in Kokernag area of Kashmir’s Anantnag district.
The officers succumbed to their injuries during treatment. A jawan also died in the encounter, officials have said while adding that the whereabouts of another soldier was not immediately known and it is feared he might have been seriously wounded.
The last rites of the soldiers were performed with full military honours on Thursday including a wreath-laying ceremony and a gun salute. The slain officers were identified as Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Ashish Dhonak & DSP Humayun Bhat.
Two suspected Pakistani terrorists were also killed in the gunbattle which continued till Wednesday, also claiming the life of Kent, a six-year-old female Labrador of the Army’s dog unit.
Security forces have recovered a large quantity of warlike stores, including medicines, with Pakistan markings during a search amid the encounter that continued on Wednesday evening according to officials.
J&K: Indian Army dog lays down her life in line of duty
School students of Jammu paid tribute as they were seen with posters of the deceased soldiers and the Indian flag in their hand praying for the peace of departed souls.
Meanwhile, former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah took a veiled dig at the Centre over its claims of normalcy in the Union Territory while pitching in for peace talks for restoring peace.
Anantnag encounter: Bodies of Col Manpreet, Major Ashish airlifted to army base hospital in Srinagar