In a major victory for Indian forces, five terrorists have been gunned down in an ongoing encounter in Jammu & Kashmir's Bandipora district.
After receiving intelligence input about terrorists' presence, forces cordoned off Chandergeer village of Bandipora's Hajin area and launched a search-operation that triggered an encounter.
However, an Indian Air Force Garud commander was also martyred while two army personnel were injured.
Five terrorists gunned down in Bandipora
Gunfight is still ongoing in Chandergeer
Confirming the incident, Defense Ministry Spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia stated that a joint team of Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police, and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) had cordoned the Chandergeer village.
He added, "As the cordon around the hiding militants was tightened, they fired at the security forces triggering an encounter which is now going on."
26/11 mastermind's nephew among slain terrorists
Several reports claimed that the terrorists killed in the massive operation belong to the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit. Also, the nephew of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi - the mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks - was killed in the Hajin encounter.
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Security forces conduct house-to-house searches, ID verification
The latest encounter comes just two days after security forces conducted a Cordon and Search Operation (CASO) in Bandipora's Garoora village, after receiving a tip-off that terrorists were present in the area.
Earlier in November, Army stated that about 80 terrorists were killed in the last six months in South Kashmir, while over 115 of them are still active, including some foreign terrorists.