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Two militants blamed for J-K highway shooting killed, third trapped

Eight security personnel including a deputy superintendent of police were injured in the encounter that was barely five km away from the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi university and super specialty hospital.

india Updated: Sep 13, 2018 18:17 IST
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Hindustan Times, Jammu
Terrorists,Jammu and Kashmir highway,Reasi district
People, including journalists, take cover during an encounter between security forces and terrorists in Jammu’s Kakriyal.(ANI)

Two militants who had opened fire at a check post on the Jammu-Srinagar-highway on Wednesday were killed in a shootout with security forces after being surrounded near a village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district on Thursday and the third was trapped, officials said.

Eight security personnel including a deputy superintendent of police were injured in the encounter that was barely five km away from the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi university and super specialty hospital.

A senior police officer said that around 8:15 pm on Wednesday, the three militants, fleeing after the attack on the checkpost near Jhajjar Kotli area, held the family of Sudershan Khajuria at a village in Jhajjar Kotli till 9:30 pm and then took some biscuits and apples from the family before leaving their house.

On Thursday morning, the trio had held the family of Raju hostage at Dhirthi, said police sources, adding that the family was rescued and some villagers evacuated to safety before engaging with the hiding militants.

Senior commanders of Nagrota-based 16 Corps personally supervised the operations.

According to major general of Arvind Bhatia, commander of the Rashtriya Rifles’ Uniform Force, the militants had infiltrated into the state recently through the Samba border in Jammu region, and were trying to go to either Srinagar or the Jammu bus station but seemed to have lost their way. He said they had taken clothes from the villagers to disguise themselves but were trapped in the area as they could not cross the overflowing Jhajjar rivulet.

Asserting that the third ultra wounded in the leg would also be soon eliminated, he said the two militants seemed be non-Kashmiris and possibly of the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The three militants on board a truck had attacked a checkpost in Jhajar Kotli area injuring a Central Reserve Police Force trooper and a forest guard on Wednesday. They had then abandoned the vehicle and vanished into the bushes. A search operation was on ever since.

Bhatia said that the truck driver and helper who were held after the attack on Wednesday morning were overground workers for the militant outfits.

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 17:13 IST