Kupwara encounter: Massive search and combing operation underway, more terrorists believed to be holed up

Authorities have also rushed additional reinforcements to the forest area in Kupwara to take on more terrorists possibly holed up in the area.

Kupwara encounter: Massive search and combing operation underway, more terrorists believed to be holed up
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Jammu: A massive search and combing operation is currently underway in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district where five hardcore terrorists and an equal number of security personnel were killed after a 48-hour long gunbattle.

According to reports, the security forces are believed to be carrying out a massive door-to-door search in suspicion of more terrorists possibly hiding in the area.

The entire area surrounding the encounter site has been cordoned off after intelligence agencies warned of the possibility of more terrorists hiding in the dense forest area and waiting to strike at the opportune moment.

Authorities have also rushed additional reinforcements to the forest area to take on militants.

The gunfight broke out on Tuesday inside Halmatpora forest area of Kupwara, about 110 km from Srinagar city.

The gunbattle left five security personnel, including three Army jawans and two policemen, dead and five terrorists killed.

Giving details of the incident, a police spokesman later said that the encounter broke out in the Halmatpora area, at least 8 kms from the Line of Control (LoC), after a police party intercepted a group of terrorists.

A joint team of the Kupwara police along with companies of the Army, the Territorial Army (TA) and the CRPF were engaged in the operations which began last morning.

The encounter has brought to light gaps in the Army's vigil along the LoC as the group of terrorists had managed to sneak in nearly 8-kms after crossing two ridges of the Shamsabari mountain range.

The terrorists had met their "reception party" (overground workers and militants already present in the Kashmir Valley) after crossing the LoC and were proceeding towards Kupwara town when they were spotted by police personnel, officials said.

The police spokesman said in the encounter, five terrorists were neutralised and added that all are believed to be foreign terrorists and part of a group that had freshly infiltrated the LoC.

In the encounter, two policemen Deepak Thusoo and SPO Mohd Yousuf, two army personnel Sepoy Ashraf Rather of 160 TA and Naik Ranjeet Kholka of 5 Bihar lost their lives, the spokesman said.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti later paid tributes to the security forces' personnel killed in the encounter.