Mehbooba pays tribute to 2 Army jawans killed in encounter

SRINAGAR, India (AP) - Three Kashmiri rebels and two Indian soldiers have been killed in a fierce gunbattle in the disputed Himalayan region, police said Sunday.

Security forces have confirmed that the body that has been recovered was that of Yasin Yatoo, news agency ANI reported today.

The militants killed in the clash were identified as Muhammad Yasin Itoo alias "Gaznavi", Irfan-ul-Haq and Umar Majeed Mir, all belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen.

The areas that have been cordoned include Upper belt of Kalaroose forests and Kunnad, Kani Behak, Manigah, Chat forest areas of Batpora Haihama.

As the security forces surrounded the hiding militants, they were fired upon, triggering the gunfight, police said.

The robots will have surveillance cameras and transmission systems with a range of 200 meters, and will be able to deliver ammunition to the soldiers, they said. The injured personnel were taken to a hospital for treatment, an official said.

Personnel from 55 Rashtriya Rifles, special operations group of police and Central Reserve Police Force are jointly taking part in the ongoing operation, the KMS said.

A police official said the security forces launched a final assault on militants early this morning by targeting their positions from heavy gunfire. The encounter, which broke out since late last night, also led to the martyrdom of two soldiers.

Reports from the village said stone-pelting protesters clashed with the security forces in the village to break the cordon around the village.

Three other injured soldiers are undergoing treatment in the military hospital. "He was also involved in firing on Bn Hqrs IRP 18 Bn Reshipora and on Army party at Moolu Chitragam", police statement reads.

Vanessa Coleman

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