Seventeen cops of the Jammu and Kashmir police were killed when militants ambushed their convoy at Manjakote village in Rajouri district late on Friday afternoon.
Seven cops were wounded (six seriously) in the ambush and have been shifted to hospitals in Rajouri, a senior police officer told rediff.com on phone from Jammu.
He said a district police party had gone to village Gandhar Mouglan where militants gunned down two civilians on Thursday night. After investigation the incident, the police party was returning to Rajouri when militants attacked their vehicle with a rocket, hand grenades and assault rifles near village Manjakote, 32 kms from the main town.
"One rocket hit the vehicle killing 17 policemen on the spot. It was a direct hit," said the officer.
Jammu range police chief R V Raju is visiting Manjakote on Saturday morning to take stock of the situation.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police rushed to Manjakote village along with army columns. The troops laid a cordon around the area and massive searches have been mounted.
The bodies are being shifted to Rajouri late on Friday night, according to police sources in Jammu.
The sources said that troops have encircled the area completely and searches were continuing. No one has yet admitted responsibility for the attack.
Earlier reports had said that six cops were wounded 14 missing after the ambush.
Friday's attack was the second in the past ten days.
In Kokarnag last week, militants killed a Station House Officer and five security guards and stole their weapons.
The latest attack comes 24 hours after the motorcade of a senior army officer was ambushed by Hizbul Mujahideen militants at Janglat Mandi in southern Anantnag district on Thursday afternoon.
Colonel J P Jaanu, CO of a Territorial Army battalion, his two security guards died on the spot along with two civilians. One militant was also killed in the exchange of fire.
Brigadier Bikram Singh, head of 1, Rashtriya Rifles, which is involved in counter insurgency operations in south Kashmir, was critically wounded in the ambush along with another army officer and two soldiers.
Brigadier Singh, who was the army spokesman during the Kargil war had to be airlifted to Delhi on Thursday evening for specialised treatment.
Anantnag town was tense on Friday as security forces combed some localities in the afternoon.
A report from Kupwara said five labourers were wounded in an explosion in the main bus stand on Friday afternoon. The injured were shifted to hospital.
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