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Army officer, unidentified militant killed in encounter in North Kashmir

SRINAGAR: A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of Army and an unidentified militant were on Tuesday killed in an encounter in Handwara area of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, army said.

The encounter broke out early this morning when militants, believed to be three in number, fired upon a joint search party of army and police in Wadarbala forests near village Petta in Handwara, an army spokesman said.

He said security forces had launched a search operation during the night after it received specific information about the presence of militants in the forests. Contact with the militants was established at 0645 hours, the spokesman said, adding that the militants opened fire on the search party, inviting retaliation by them.

In the ensuing gunfire, a militant was killed, he said, adding his identity is yet to be ascertained. The spokesman said a JCO was injured during the exchange of fire and was rushed to hospital where he succumbed to injuries. Search operation was going on till late evening, he said.