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Kathua encounter enters third day

September 04, 2003 14:52 IST

Additional troops were on Thursday rushed to Kathua where seven Lashkar-e-Tayiba militants continued to engage security forces on the third day in possibly the longest ever gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir.

Around 300 army personnel were sent to Ghati area of Kathua to reinforce the security grid thrown around the bushes from where the hiding militants are firing continuously at the security forces, hampering their advance, defence sources said.

Two of the terrorists have been seriously injured in the encounter, sources said quoting intercepts sent by militants to their commanders across the border.

One policeman has been killed and seven others injured in the gun battle, which began around 1530 hours IST on Tuesday.

The militants, who have broken into smaller groups, are using heavy arms like grenade launchers besides AK rifles to keep the troops at bay, they said.

The army, Central Reserve Police Force and police are jointly engaged in the operation with the assistance of Village Defence Committee members in trying to exhaust ammunition of the holed up militants before closing in on them.

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