Three terrorists and an army jawan were killed, and a hostage has been rescued following an encounter in Batote area along the Jammu-Kishtwar national highway on Saturday (September 28), an army officer said, as the nearly nine-hour long search operation finally ended.
The terrorists were encircled by the search parties inside a house in the main market after they managed their escape from the scene of the earlier encounter in the highway town in Ramban district, officials said.
“We have killed three terrorists in the gunfight which has ended. One soldier was also martyred during the action,” Jammu-based army PRO Lt Col Devender Anand told PTI.
#WATCH Jammu & Kashmir: Indian troops celebrate after eliminating three terrorists in Batote town of Ramban district of Jammu Zone. The civilian hostage has also been rescued safely. pic.twitter.com/L3tec790lg
— ANI (@ANI) September 28, 2019
Earlier, a police spokesman said that a group of terrorists were trapped in the town. The trapped terrorists had fired at the Quick Reaction Team (QRT) of the army in the morning and tried to escape but were chased by security forces and encircled in a house, he said.
The officials said that a fresh exchange of fire started between the holed-up terrorists and security forces at around 1 p.m. after an intense search operation despite inclement weather.
The house owner was believed to be trapped inside the house and has now been rescued safely, while his other family members were evacuated to safety after they managed to come out, they said, adding that the guerrillas had forced their entry into the house while being chased by the security forces.
Also read: Exchange of fire between army and suspected terrorists in J&K
In the morning, the terrorists hurled a grenade and opened fire at the QRT at Dharmund village, leading to a brief exchange of fire. Reinforcements were immediately brought in and the whole area was cordoned off to neutralise the terrorists, who are believed to have come from the Kishtwar side and had reportedly spent the night at an abandoned temporary shelter shed on the highway, the officials said.
Lt Col Anand said, “Today (Saturday) morning at about 7.30 am, two suspicious individuals tried to stop a civilian vehicle at the general area Batote on the highway. The driver was alert, did not stop the vehicle and rushed and informed the nearest army post.”
“The quick reaction team reacted promptly and contact was established with the suspicious individuals,” he said. The movement of traffic on the highway was stopped following the incident as a precautionary measure, he added.
(With inputs from agencies)