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3 terrorists killed in encounter in Jammu, policeman injured

Bann Toll Plaza (Jammu): Three Jaish-e-Mohammed militants were killed on Friday in a fierce gunbattle with police at a toll plaza on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway here, officials said.

A group of three-four militants were intercepted at the Bann toll plaza, about 28 km from Jammu city, when they were trying to enter the Kashmir Valley on a truck.

Police suspect the terrorists might have infiltrated through the International Border in Kathua district to carry out an attack.

One of the terrorists was killed in the ensuing gunfight while the others managed to escape to the nearby forest area, Director General of Police Dilbag Singh told PTI. He said a policeman was injured in the incident.

He said the militants belonged to Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The truck driver and conductor were arrested, the DGP said.

The Jammu-Srinagar highway was closed and the entire forest belt was cordoned off. After a gunbattle, two more terrorists were killed.

Choppers, drones and sniffer dogs have been inducted into joint operations to track down the fourth terrorist as a massive search operation rages up, they said.

Six weapons, including a sniper riffle, and large quantity of ammunition and explosives have been recovered, the DGP said.

"The truck was stopped by our personnel for checking. As they were about to enter the truck, the terrorists opened fire and our jawans also retaliated. One of our jawans was injured in his arm due to a bullet, while a terrorist was killed on the spot," the DGP said.

IGP Jammu Zone, Mukesh Singh told reporters that the truck was intercepted at the toll post at 5 am by a joint team of police and CRPF.

The truck was carrying polyvinyl and a cavity was created inside it to hide the terrorists, officials said, adding that the militants were armed with bullet-proof jackets.

The officials suspect that the terrorists might have planned to carry out an attack at vital installations as well as security camps along the nearly 300-km highway.

Bhom Raj, the policeman injured in firing by the terrorists, has been hospitalised, they said. Raj was unarmed and could not retaliate. Senior police officials were at the spot to oversee the combing operations. All schools and colleges have been closed in Udhampur district as a precautionary measure.

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