Eight militants killed, 12 security men injured in J&K (Roundup)

Jammu/Srinagar : Eight militants, three of them Pakistanis, were killed on Thursday in three separate gun battles in Jammu and Kashmir, one of which also injured 12 police and paramilitary personnel and soldiers.

While three were killed near the Line of control (LoC) in Keran sector in Kupwara district that borders Pakistan, two Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants were shot dead in Sopore town and the three Pakistanis died in a 33-hour fighting in Reasi district.

Soldiers noticed suspicious movements along the LoC in Dat Gali area of Kupwara and challenged a small group of men trying to sneak into India, triggering a gun battle.

"Three terrorists were killed. Their bodies are lying close to the border fence and have not been recovered yet," a Defence Ministry source said.

Two JeM militants were killed in Arampora locality of Sopore town.

Police said the security forces, including Rashtriya Rifles, the Special Operations Group and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), cordoned off Arampora in the morning after being tipped off about the gunmen.

"As the cordon was tightened, the militants opened fire," a police officer said.

Three Pakistani terrorists, also belonging to JeM, were killed in Reasi district after a joint operation by the security forces, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Major General Arvind Bhatia said.

He said they had recently infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan in Samba sector of the international border.

The Pakistanis were killed in a 33-hour encounter in Kakriyal village near the Mata Vaishno Devi University.

Twelve security personnel, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police, were injured in the fighting.

The others injured included a Major and two para-commandos of the Army, five CRPF troopers and three policemen.

"The injured were shifted to the Narayana hospital in Katra town where doctors said all of them are out of danger," a police officer said.

The Army, police and CRPF had tracked down the militants using drones, helicopters and other surveillance gadgets in the forests of Jhajar and adjoining areas.

Once the militants were discovered, the villagers were evacuated before the final assault on them was mounted.

A villager earlier told the security forces that on Wednesday night the three armed militants entered his home, changed their clothes, took away biscuits and water and left.

Traffic on the national highway between Nagrota and Jhajar Kotli was suspended on Thursday. Schools in the area were closed.

The police on Wednesday detained the driver and helper of the truck. An AK-47 rifle and three magazines were recovered.