Srinagar, Feb 18 (IECurrentAffairs) An Army Major and three soldiers were martyred and a civilian and two top Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants were killed in a fierce encounter which ensued during a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) in south Kashmir district of Pulwama in the wee hours of Monday, official sources said.
The slain militants included a commander involved in recent fidayeen attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama on Thursday.
A soldier was also injured in the encounter, which was on when the reports last came in.
Meanwhile, mobile internet service, which was resumed last night in the valley after remaining suspended during the day, has been blocked in Pulwama, where clashes have also erupted.
A police spokesman said details are awaited about the encounter, which ensued three days after 44 CRPF personnel were martyred in a fidayeen attack at Awantipora on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway in Pulwama district on February 14.
On a tip-off about the presence of militants in village Pinglan, about 3 km from main town in Pulwama on Srinagar-Shopian road, troops of 55 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police and CRPF launched a joint search operation in the wee hours today.
However, when the security forces were sealing the particular area in the village at 0100 hrs, militants hiding there opened indiscriminate firing in which four soldiers, including a Major, were critically wounded. The injured were shifted to 92 Base hospital, where they reportedly succumbed. The deceased soldiers were identified as Major D S Dondial, soldiers Seva Ram, Ajay Kumar and Hari Singh. The injured soldier Sepoy Gulzar Mohammad has also been admitted to base hospital.
Meanwhile, a civilian Mushtaq Ahmad who was also hit by a bullet near the encounter site has also succumbed. In the wake of the encounter, the residents of the nearby houses have been shifted to safer places.
Local residents said they heard loud explosions and heavy exchange of firing when the CASO was launched by the security force.
They said additional security forces were rushed and all exit points were sealed to foil any attempt by militants to escape. There was was no firing until first light this morning when security forces went all out to storm the house where the militants were trapped. Heavy exchange of fire was going on from both sides, they said. Two to three militants are holed up in the area.
Additional security forces and state police personnel have been deployed in the adjacent villages to prevent any demonstration, the sources added.