Heavily armed militants on Sunday shot dead a couple, including a local political leader, and fought a pitched battle with security forces in which a news photographer was killed in Samba district.
The militants, believed to belong to a group which managed to sneak into the Indian side during a gun battle in Samba sector on Friday last, attacked the family living in Kali Mandi forest belt in the district around 0750 hours, official sources said.
The militants opened heavy fire on the inmates of house. While Hoshiyar Singh, the president of the newly constituted Indian National Democratic Party, and his wife Sheshi Balla died on the spot, their two daughters - Bindu and Darshan Devi were seriously injured.
Local units of army and BSF rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area. A fierce gunbattle soon ensued between the fleeing militants and security forces in the area, they said adding the encounter was still on.
A photographer of a local English daily Daily Excelsior, Ashok Sodhi, who was covering the encounter, died when a bullet pierced his head.
The sources further said that intercepts after the Friday's gunbattle at Baingallar BOP along IB indicated that a group of ten militants had crossed the Samba border and were hiding in the forest areas of Samba and Mansar areas.