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Poonch encounter: Suspected Pak militants kill cop, army corners them

A policeman was killed in an ongoing encounter between the security forces and terrorists in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday, increasing the death toll in the conflict-ridden state to 77.

india Updated: Sep 11, 2016 15:22 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times
Poonch,encounter in Poonch,policeman killed in Poonch
Security forces engaged militants who attacked a special branch police officer after being spotted at around 7:30 am in Poonch town.(ANI)

Heavily armed militants suspected from Pakistan killed a policeman and injured two others in an early morning attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch town on Sunday.

Police sources said three to four militants sneaked from across the Line of Control into Poonch town and attacked Rajinder Kumar or Raju, a havildar in the Special Branch of CID with Poonch Police, when he spotted them trying to enter an old bungalow.

They opened fire on Raju when he was trying to enter the bungalow and killed him instantly. One of the militants then fled into an under-construction mini-secretariat building surrounded by maize fields while the other took refuge in a school, sources said.

Poonch deputy commissioner MH Malik said the gun battle was still on. Sources said the army’s elite para commandos were airlifted from Udhampur to launch a final assault.

“One policeman, who was in civvies, was killed and a civilian among two others were injured in the early morning attack. It is believed that there are three to four terrorists,” said Malik. Poonch is 260 kms from Jammu.

The militants also injured sub-inspector Manzoor Hussain and a civilian, Mohammad Tariq .

“Around 7.30 am this morning, the militants staged an attack after they were spotted by the cop from special branch. Initial reports suggested two ultras went inside an old bungalow just 300 meters away from Poonch Brigade”, a police officer said. While fleeing they opened fire and injured Hussain and Tariq.

The source said army and police personnel have cordoned both the places and intermittent fire is on between the militants and security forces. The army has also deployed choppers to locate the hiding extremists and help troops on the ground.

The attack comes after two months of violence in the Valley following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani that has left 75 people dead and thousands injured. The government says militants from across the border are fanning the unrest.

(With agency inputs)

Also read: When security of separatist groups becomes statecraft

First Published: Sep 11, 2016 09:14 IST