IAF commandos slain in encounter

Bandipora encounter Gunbattle between security forces and terrorists is underway in Hajin Handipora of Jammu and Kashmir

Two Garud commandos of the Indian Air Force were also martyred in the exchange.

Last year, armed rebels had stormed the army base near the border town of Uri in which 18 soldiers were killed.

Two militants and two Indian Airforce personnel were killed early Wednesday in a fierce gun battle in Hajin village in north Kashmir's Bandipora district.

He added that two "terrorists" belonging to Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba group have also been killed in the gunfight in Hajin village in northern Kashmir's Bandipora, 30km away from the region's main city of Srinagar.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Virdhi Kumar Birdi told reporters that the slain militants were Abu Baker alias Ali Baba and Nasrullah Mir of Lashkari-e-Taiba (LeT). "Two of them succumbed later", said a police official.

The fighting has left tens of thousands dead, majority civilians and earlier this year India launched "Operation Allout" to hunt down the rebels.

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Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police SP Vaid had said it was a major breakthrough for the security forces as the militant was involved in many attacks on security camps in North Kashmir as well as targetting policemen in particular.

The Army said in a statement that "befitting" tributes were paid to the two IAF martyrs at a wreath-laying ceremony at Srinagar's Badami Bagh cantonment, home of the 15 (Chinar) Corps.

Hailing the soldiers, Vaid said in an ensuing tweet, "Salute to officers &a Jawans of SF & J&K Police".

The hidden militants triggered the encounter by firing at the approaching security forces.

The elimination of these terrorists is being termed as a big success for security forces. Sources said that two militants also made an appearance at the funeral. They had undergone a four-week pre-induction training before being deployed for counter-insurgency operations with 13 Rashtriya Rifles.

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