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J&K: Army major among 8 killed in encounters

Last updated on: September 23, 2009 22:19 IST

An army major, a naval commando and two top militants were among the eight persons killed in two encounters in north Kashmir in the past 24 hours.

The encounters that began on Tuesday and ended on Wednesday evening also left a major and five troopers wounded.

A defence spokesman in Srinagar said troops of counter insurgency Rashtriya Rifles and the local police on Tuesday afternoon surrounded a house in the Banyari village of north Kashmir's Bandipore district on specific information about presence of two top militants inside it.

"As a raiding party tried to storm the house, they came under heavy fire from the holed up militants resulting in the spot death of major Suresh SuriĀ and a trooper of 13 RR," the spokesman said.

Four soldiers including a major were injured," he added.

Heavy reinforcements were rushed to the spot resulting in fierce exchange of fire between the militants and the troopers.

"The encounter ended late this afternoon after the two holed up militants were eliminated by the troopers," the spokesman also said.

The slain militants were identified as Pasha -- district commander of Hizbul Mujahideen -- and district commander of Lashkar-e-Tayiba Musa.

In another gunbattle that also erupted almost simultaneously in the forest area of Tangmolla in adjoining Baramulla district, two soldiers including a naval commando were killed and another trooper wounded.

The naval commandos were rushed to the area to reinforce the cordon around the forest area.

The militants were engaged in a fierce gunbattle that ended on Wednesday, after the two holed up militants were gunned down.

Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar