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Five killed in Kashmir gunfight, two houses razed

Srinagar, Feb 23 (IANS) An army captain, two soldiers and two militants were killed in a gunfight between security personnel and separatist guerrillas in Jammu and Kashmir’s Sopore town Tuesday. Two houses where the militants were holed up were razed to the ground, police said.

Security forces said they would search the debris Wednesday morning to ascertain the number of militants killed in the gunfight but added that their operation was still continuing as they had come under fire from a third house in the area.

The two houses were blasted with landmines. Officials said two militants were confirmed dead, but added that the number of slain militants could be five. An official said the number would be confirmed once their bodies are taken out from under the debris Wednesday.

A senior police officer told IANS that personnel of the army’s Para Regiment, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Special Operations Group (SOG) of the local police surrounded two houses in Chinkipora locality of Sopore town, 54 km from here, early morning following information about the presence of militants inside.

‘The holed-up militants were asked to surrender, upon which they resorted to heavy automatic gunfire at the surrounding security men,’ the police officer said.

Four people, including three army personnel and a civilian, were wounded in the gun battle.

The injured have been evacuated to the army’s base hospital in this summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir while the injured civilian has been admitted for specialised treatment in the bone and joint hospital here, an official said.

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