As many as five security force personnel, including a Colonel, a Major and a police officer were martyred in an intense gun battle with terrorists in Handwara in north Kashmir.
“Four Indian Army personnel including the Commanding Officer, Major of 21 Rashtriya Rifles unit along with 2 soldiers and one Jammu and Kashmir Police jawan lost their lives in an encounter in Handwara in Jammu and Kashmir,” Army officials told media on Sunday.
The martyred Commanding Officer of 21 Rashtriya Rifles has been identified as Colonel Ashutosh Sharma. According to Army sources, he was part of several successful counter-terrorism operations in the past.
Meanwhile, two terrorists were neutralised in the encounter. The team of Rashtriya Rifles upon receiving Intel that civilians were being held hostage inside a home in Changimulla, Handwara, launched a joint operation with the J&K Police and the Indian Army. However, the security forces came under attack from militants as soon as they entered the home.
Currently, the civilians stuck in the house have been evacuated safely.