THREE MILITANTS and a civilian were killed in an overnight operation by security forces in north Kashmir’s Unisoo village, close to Handwara town.
Police said the militants killed in the encounter were foreigners, and had affiliation with the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The Army and the Special Operations Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police launched the operation late Sunday night , and as they zeroed in on the militants, hiding in a house in the village, the latter opened fire, leading to a firefight.
Defence spokesperson Rajesh Kalia confirmed that three militants were killed and said that three weapons were recovered from the encounter site.
A 25-year-old woman, identified as Mysra, was also killed in the cross-firing, a senior officer said.
Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police S P Vaid praised the forces for launching the operation even as it was raining through the night.
“In Unisoo, Handwara, all the three terrorists apparently Pakistanis have been neutralised by Joint team of J&K Police, RR &CRPF. It has been raining whole night & boys were out there in the cold,’’ he tweeted.
Locals came out in protest in Unisoo over the woman’s killing, blaming the forces for her death. Independent legislator Engineer Rashid led a demonstration in Handwara against her killing.
Handwara has witnessed several encounters in the last few weeks. Last month, three foreign militants were killed in an encounter at Magam, and one foreign militant was later arrested from the forests.
Since January, the Army and the police have killed more than 200 militants in different encounters in the Valley.