Colonel, Major among 5 martyred in encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Handwara

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Five security personnel, including a Colonel and a Major were martyred in an encounter at a village in north Kashmir’s Handwara area, sources said on Sunday.

A police officer and two army soldiers also lost their lives in the gunfight.

Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj and police sub-inspector Shakeel Qazi were killed after the hours-long firefight with terrorists.

The encounter began on Saturday after the army personnel and J&K police launched a joint operation in the Handwara area of the district in north Kashmir following a tip-off about the presence of terrorists there.

The security forces reached the area and tried to rescue civilians who had been taken hostage by the terrorists at a house.

“A team comprising Army personnel and Jammu and Kashmir Police entered the target area occupied by the terrorists and successfully extricated the civilians. However, during the process, the team was subjected to heavy volume of fire by the terrorists. In the ensuing fire fight two terrorists were gunned down and team of five security personnel attained martyrdom,” the officials said.