The bodies of two slain militants were retrieved from the encounter site, says Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Amit Kumar. "Weapons and warlike stores recovered. The identity and group affiliation of the slain militants are being ascertained. Search is on in the area to find out if there are any more militants," he adds.
Two to three militants are believed to be hiding in the area. "Firing, which stopped for a while, has resumed," says an official. The place of encounter is just 15 km away from the explosion site at Lethpora.
Four Armymen, including a Major, and a civilian have been killed in the ongoing encounter.
The slain were identified as Major D.S. Dondial, Head Constable Sava Ram and Sepoys Ajay Kumar and Hari Singh. However, the Army has not confirmed any casualty officially. One injured soldier, Gulzar Muhammad, has been evacuated to Army's 92 Base Hospital Badamibagh in Srinagar. "A civilian, identified as Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat, was injured in the firing and he later died of his injuries," an official says.
Encounter started at 12.50 am on Monday at Pinglena in Pulwama and was led by the Army. The CRPF and the Jammu and Kashmir police are also part of the operation. A civilian has also reportedly been killed but there is no confirmation so far.
Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Pinglan area during the night after receiving inputs about the presence of militants in the area, a police official told PTI. He said that as the forces were conducting searches, the militants opened fire at them, triggering off a gun battle