Three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists were killed and three security forces personnel, including an Army officer, injured in an encounter at Pattan area in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday . The gunbattle between forces and terrorists lasted for almost 12 hours with the killing of three terrorists.

Sharing details of the encounter, the Jammu and Kashmir Police and Indian Army in a joint statement said, “The terrorists took 12 civilians as hostage and their rescuing was our priority. Hizbul Mujahideen have been trying to strengthen itself in the north Kashmir.”

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police north Kashmir range, Muhammad Sulaiman Choudhary said, “We had a information about the presence of terrorists in the area and joint teams of district police Baramullah, 29 Army and 176 CRPF local unit laid a cordon and search operation at around 5 am at Yeddipora, Pattan.

We had information that terrorists were hiding inside the residential complex. As we approached towards it, the terrorists, who were holed up inside the building, began firing at the forces. Some civilians were taken as hostages. Security forces retaliated to the gunfire. Our first priority was to evacuate civilians. Once the hostages were rescued, the encounter was carried out, leading to the elimination of three terrorists.”

Choudhary added that in the latest operation at Pattan in Baramulla, one army major and two SPOs of police were injured during the evacuation process. He added that their condition are stable.

Two out of three terrorists were identified as locals, named Shafkat Ali Khan of Rawatpora, Delina and Hanan Bilal Sofi of old town Baramulla. “Two AK-47 riffles, four magazines, one pistol and two pistol magazines besides incriminating matter was recovered from killed terrorists,” he said.