Jammu | Jagran News Desk: Five soldiers of the Indian Army, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO), lost their lives on Monday after the security forces launched a counter-terrorist operation at the Poonch sector in Jammu and Kashmir, said officials.

According to reports, the Indian Army had launched an operation Poonch's Surankote after intel suggested that three to four terrorists are riding in the region. Reports suggest that the search operation turned into an encounter after the "heavily-armed" opened fire at the Army soldiers.

Currently, the operation is underway and teams of Indian Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police are trying to neutralise the terrorists, said officials while adding that reinforcements have been rushed to the area to plug all escape routes in the area.

"One JCO and 4 jawans of Indian Army sustained critical injuries during the anti-terror operation at Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir today. They were rushed to the nearest medical facility where they succumbed to injuries," Jammu Defence PRO said.

Earlier in the day, the security forces had neutralised two militants, including Imtiyaz Ahmad Dar, in separate encounters in Anantnag and Bandipora districts. The officials said that Dar, who was affiliated with The Resistance Front (TRF) of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), was involved in a recent killing of a civillian in the Valley.

The officials said a hunt was launched in Anantnag's Verinag and Bandipora's Shahgund after specific information that about the presence of militants there. They said that the operation turned into an encounter after militants opened fire on the security forces, adding that Jammu and Kashmir Police official was injured in Anantnag.

"Two terrorists were killed in two separate operations in Anantnag and Bandipora last night. One of the terrorists has been identified as Imtiaz Ahmad Dar who was involved in one of the recent civilian killings," Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma