Srinagar: Two Air Force personnel and two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in a fierce encounter in north Kashmir district of Bandipora on Wednesday.
According to the defence ministry spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia, following specific information about presence of militants, troops of Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police and paramilitary forces cordoned off Rakh Paribal, Hajin, in Bandipora district at 0500 hrs on Wednesday.
However, when security forces were moving towards a particular area in the cordoned off village, militants hiding there, opened indiscriminate firing with automatic weapons and lobbed hand grenades.
The initial attack by the militants led to the causalities in which two IAF commandos were killed and six other troopers were injured. Sources said that the injured were shifted to the Army's base hospital for treatment.
The slain Air force commandos were identified as Cpl Neelesh Nayan and Sgt Milind Khabar.
Kalia, meanwhile, said that the Air Force gaurd personnel were also operating with the Army for operational experience and training.
According to the police statement, two AK riles, one pistol, 19 pistol rounds, one grenade, two pouches and other ammunition was recovered from the encounter site.
Meanwhile, the slain militants were associated with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). DGP of Jammu and Kashmir Police SP Vaid, said that one of the slain militants has been identified as a local and the other is a Pakistani national.
Vaid, said the militant, identified as Pakistan national Ali alias Abu Mas, was also involved in the October 3 attack on the Border Security Force (BSF) camp that killed one jawan.
"After the encounter, we recovered two bodies- one was a local terrorist, other was a Pakistani national named Ali alias Abu Mas. Ali was instrumental in a number of incidents in Hajin area, and also involved in the BSF jawan's killing," DGP Vaid said.
"Two Indian Air Force (IAF) jawans, who were on attachment with army, have also been killed in the encounter," Vaid added.
Meanwhile, according to a police statement, both the slain militants were involved in many attacks including attack on BSF Jawan namely Mohammad Ramzan alias Rameez at his home, with knives and then fired indiscriminately, in which the said Jawan was killed and injuries to his old aged father Ghulam Ahmad Parray, two elder brothers Mohammad Afzal Parray, Javid Ahmad Parray and paternal aunt Habla Begum wife of late Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Shah.
“They were also involved in case FIR number 42/17 under section 307 RPC, 7/27 A. Act firing on patrolling party in which one army captain and two army jawans were injured.
Police said that Nasrullah Mir was also involved in stone pelting case.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police, 13 personnel of the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and nine paramilitary force personnel were deployed in the operation.
Meanwhile, life came to a halt as shops and business establishments were closed and traffic was off the roads in north Kashmir district of Bandipora, after the encounter.
Additional security forces have been deployed in entire Bandipora to prevent any protests and maintain law and order.
Meanwhile, clashes erupted in Hajin after the local slain militant Nasrullah Mir was laid to rest. Reports said that youth assembled at the Hajin Chowk and pelted the government forces with stones.
The forces responded by firing pellets and lobbing teargas shells, triggering further clashes.