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J&K: 3 killed in Sopore encounter

By Mukhtar Ahmed in Srinagar
Last updated on: July 16, 2008 22:09 IST
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Three persons including a policeman and two militants were killed while 14 others including seven army men, three paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force troopers and four cops were wounded in an over 24-hour-long north Kashmir gunfight that ended on Wednesday evening.

Police said troops of 22 Rashtriya Rifles, CRPF and Special Operations Group of police surrounded a house in the Warpora locality of north Kashmir's apple-rich Sopore town on Tuesday afternoon, following a tipoff that a group of heavily armed militants were hiding inside.

"The cordoning troops came under heavy automatic gunfire from the holed up militants. The militants also hurled grenades at the joint raiding parties of security forces, resulting in the death of one policeman and injuries to 14 others including an assistant commandant of the CRPF," a senior police officer said.

All the injured were evacuated to hospital for treatment and the condition of at least four securitymen is reported to be critical.

Authorities rushed more reinforcements to tighten the cordon around the house to flush out the holed up militants.

Heavy firing exchanges continued in the area and exit and entry points to the Warpora locality were sealed off.

A police spokesman said two militants, one each of Hizbul Mujaheedin and Jaish-e-Mohammed, were killed in the encounter that ended on Wednesday evening.

He said one house was destroyed during the gunfight.

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Mukhtar Ahmed in Srinagar