Two militants and two soldiers, including a colonel, were killed in a fierce encounter in Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, 35 km away from Srinagar, on Tuesday.
A search party came under fire from a Hizbul Mujahideen militant’s house in Hundoora village in Tral in the afternoon, where Hizb commander Abid Khan had gone to see his family members around 2 pm.
“Four security personnel, including three army soldiers, were injured in the first volley of bullets fired by the two hiding militants,” said a police officer, who was part of the encounter and barred from revealing his identity.
The army's 42 Rashtriya Rifles colonel M N Roy was critical injured when he took bullets while storming the house. Constable Sanjiv Singh of the police’s Special Operation Group also sustained bullet injuries in the initial exchange of fire.
The two were rushed to the hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.
Both the hiding militants were also killed in exchange of fire that lasted for around half an hour only.
Preliminary reports suggest Khan along with another Hizb militant Sheraz Ahmad Dar had gone to see his ailing brother when they were surrounded by the security forces.
“Khan was a district commander of Hizb and was active from September 2012 in the area. Dar had recently joined the outfit,” said Awantipora superintendent of police Tahir Saleem.
Dar, who according to security agencies was a baker by profession, snatched a rifle from a cop in Awantipora last year before the joining the militancy.
Hizb commander Khan reportedly was a son of a policeman. Arms and ammunition was also recovered from the encounter site.