Scene from a gunfight site

SRINAGAR — Two senior Army officers are among several security men who have lost contact and their fate is unknown, following an encounter with militants in Chanjimulla area of Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

Reports reaching here said that an encounter broke out around 3:45 PM today when the search team of Army’s 15 RR, 21 RR and elite 9 Para commandos joined by SOG and CRPF personnel zeroed in on a residential house in Chanjimulla where the militants had taken shelter while escaping from the Rajwar forest on Friday afternoon.

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“The militants fired upon the search team to escape from the spot. However, the security forces retaliated the fire and thwarted their attempt,” official sources said.

They said that the exchange of fire continued for several hours before the guns fell silent.

Sources said that a joint team of Army and police, including two senior Army officers, approached the house to further tighten the grip around the militants. However, after that the ambush team has lost contact with their colleagues, sources said.

“One body is lying outside the house. However, it is not clear if it is that of a soldier or any militant,” they added.

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Meanwhile, when this report was filed, sources said that more reinforcements of the Army have been rushed to the area and fresh firing resumed.

Pertinently, a search operation was started by Army and police in Rajwar and Mawar forest areas of Handwara on Friday afternoon amid reports that a group of militants was hiding there. The search team had also fired several warning shots during the cordon and search operation.

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