An Indian army colonel, a major and two soldiers, along with a Jammu and Kashmir Police sub-inspector, were killed in a counter-terrorist operation in Kashmir late on Saturday.
The 12 hour operation took place at Handwara, in Kupwara district, at a village in Rajwar forests of North Kashmir. According to the officials, the team came under heavy fire after rescuing the civilians.Two terrorists were killed. The two holed-up terrorists, who were eliminated included commander of banned Lashker-e-Taiba Haider, a Pakistani national who has been active in the area. „Based on the intelligence input that terrorists were taking the civilian inmates of a house in Changimulla, Handwara of Kupwara district hostage, a joint operation was launched by Army and JK Police. A team comprising five Army and JK Police personnel entered the target area occupied by the terrorists to evacuate the civilians,” the official statement from the army said.
Honor to the victims
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and defence minister Rajnath Singh paid tributes to the martyrs. Singh described the deaths as 'deeply disturbing and painful'. Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat said the anti-terror operation highlighted the determination of the security forces to safeguard the lives of the people of Kashmir.