Jaish 3 killed in Katra

Pilgrim town Katra, where the Vaishno Devi temple is located, on Thursday woke up to a fierce gunfight between a group of militants who had just infiltrated from Pakistan and the security forces, the 12-hour encounter leaving three Jaish-e-Mohammad operatives dead.

By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Srinagar
  • Published 14.09.18
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Security personnel take position during a counter-terrorism operations on the second day after a militant attack, at Kakryal on Thursday. (PTI picture) 

Srinagar: Pilgrim town Katra, where the Vaishno Devi temple is located, on Thursday woke up to a fierce gunfight between a group of militants who had just infiltrated from Pakistan and the security forces, the 12-hour encounter leaving three Jaish-e-Mohammad operatives dead.

Eight security force personnel were injured in the gunfight, which came on a day two more militants were killed in an encounter in north Kashmir's Sopore.

The fight between the militants and the security forces took place in Kakryal village, 12km from Katra town.

A police spokesperson said the three militants were first seen in Domail village of Jammu's Reasi district on Wednesday. They had opened fire at a flying squad of the security forces from inside a truck when it was asked to stop.

The firing left one person injured, but the militants fled on foot towards a forest in Jhajjar Kotli.

Security forces, who were joined by personnel on helicopters and para-commandos, began a search in a massive area.

"The vast area was kept under a tight cordon during the night. At daybreak, contact was established after the terrorists were tracked at Kakryal. The exchange of fire continued till 5pm," the spokesperson said.

A deputy superintendent of police from Nagrota, two CRPF officers and some police and security force personnel were injured, he added.

The police spokesperson said the militants had apparently sneaked in through the Hiranagar belt of the International Border in Jammu.

Maj Gen Arvind Bhatia, who heads the counter-insurgency Uniform Force, said the militants were apparently heading towards the Valley.

"Their accomplices are in the Valley. They neither have a support base nor any overground worker network here (in Reasi). It had been difficult for them to sustain here. So most probably they were going to the Valley," Bhatia told reporters.

Residents said the militants had taken refuge at the home of a local on Wednesday night. "The family was scared. The militants told them not to worry, saying they would not harm the family. They asked for some food. The head of the family offered them biscuits and fruits," a resident said.