The five suspected militants killed in a gunfight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Wednesday were foreigners and members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, Inspector General of Police SP Pani said.

The five men crossed the Line of Control and travelled about 8 km into Indian territory, after which they met a militant group that already has a presence in the Valley, The Indian Express reported. The security forces spotted them in Halmatpora when they were on their way to Kupwara town. The militants then hid in the nearby forests and began to fire at the security officers.

Five security personnel were also killed in the encounter in Kupwara. The gunfight began on Tuesday and went on till Wednesday, when the officers recovered the bodies of the suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militants.

Meanwhile, security forces have launched a search operation in a dense forest near the encounter site to locate an Indian Army soldier who has been missing since Wednesday, PTI reported.