Three Indian Army soldiers were killed and three others were injured after suspected militants fired upon two Army vehicles in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district on Thursday.

In a statement, the Army said that after the ambush, a gunfight broke out with the suspected militants.

“The fire was immediately retaliated upon by own troops,” the statement said.

It said that officials had been conducting a cordon and search operation in and around the Dera Ki Gali area since Wednesday night.

Last month, five Army soldiers, including two captains, were killed in a gunfight in the Rajouri district. A Pakistani militant was also killed.

Twenty-three people, including seven militants and nine security personnel, have been killed in Rajouri since January, while 15 militants and five security personnel have been killed in Poonch, according to PTI.