J&K: Jawan, cop, militant killed in clash; protests follow, injure many

The security forces launched an operation in Tral's forest area following receiving reports about the presence of militants there.

Srinagar: An Army jawan, a policeman and a suspected militant were killed in a fire fight raging in woods outside the Tral town of Jammu and Kashmir’s southern Pulwama district since Tuesday morning. The clash sparked off street protests in Tral area, leaving several people injured, the witnesses said.

The security forces including Army’s 42 Rashtriya Rifles, J&K police’s counterinsurgency Special Operations Group (SOG) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) launched an operation in Tral’s Goyetengo Laam forest area following receiving reports about the presence of militants there.

In the initial exchange of fire, Army jawan Ajay Kumar and SOG policeman Latief Gojri were critically injured. Both of them succumbed to their injuries, the officials said adding that while Kumar died at the Army’s 92-Base Hospital in Srinagar, Gojri breathed his last while being shifted to hospital.

A report said that the militants managed to escape after the brief encounter. However, they were intercepted by security forces’ reinforcements in upper forest area of Laam, leading to fierce gun battle which was underway as reports last came in.

The police sources said that the Army used helicopters to locate the fleeing militants and then the ground forces took on them.

Officials said that, at least, one militant has been killed in the clash, so far. “His identity is being ascertained,” said a police spokesman. He also said that two more Army jawans have been injured.

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