Three suspected militants were killed in an encounter with security forces near Nagrota on Jammu-Srinagar national highway on Friday morning, said the police. A policeman also sustained injuries when a group of three or four militants travelling in a truck opened fire at a police team at Bann toll plaza.
“These terrorists were a newly infiltrated group and were on their way to Srinagar,” Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh told ANI. “It is suspected that they infiltrated from Kathua, Hiranagar border. Investigation is on.”
The encounter took place around 5 am when the police stopped the truck for checking. Singh said one militant was gunned down immediately, but others managed to flee to the adjacent forest area. “Two others have been neutralised in the adjoining forest area,” Singh told Hindustan Times. “Their bodies are being brought up to the road.”
Inspector General of Police (Jammu Zone) Mukesh Singh said an AK-47 assault rifle, magazines and grenades were recovered from the truck. “We have arrested a truck helper,” he said. “The terrorists are most likely foreigners, who were being helped by locals.”
It is believed that there are more militants hiding in the forest areas. A search operation has been launched to track them down.
Soon after the attack, two explosions were heard near the toll plaza. The highway has been shut following the gun battle. Authorities have also ordered all schools and colleges in Udhampur zone to be closed.
This is the first terror attack in Jammu since Article 370, which granted special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, was revoked on August 5 last year. Nagrota is an Indian Army cantonment where seven soldiers were killed in November 2016 when militants stormed a military camp.