Three Indian Army soldiers and two troopers from the Special Operations Group – the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s elite counter-insurgency force were killed in an encounter with suspected militants in the state’s Kupwara district on Wednesday, the Army said. A policeman was also injured in the gunfight, which is still under way.

Director General of Police SP Vaid said five militants were killed in the gunfight in Arampura-Halmatpura, which began on Tuesday. The police claimed the five were “foreign terrorists and part of a freshly infiltrated group”.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Kashmir Zone Police said there was fresh exchange of fire in the area, and that security forces had cordoned it off. On Tuesday, the Army said it had killed four suspected militants in the gunfight after they opened fire on a patrol unit. Their bodies were recovered from the site of the encounter on Wednesday.

Security forces recovered a “huge cache of arms and ammunition and other incriminating materials” from the site of the encounter, including AK-47 rifles and grenades, the police said.