Five Border Roads Organisation (BRO) personnel, including a commanding officer, an engineer and three other personnel were gunned down by militants in an ambush on Symthan top, the high point on the Srinagar-Kishtwar highway on Friday evening.
Police said the BRO personnel were working on the widening of the road that connect south Kashmir Anantnag district with the twin districts of Kishtwar and Doda in Jammu region.
"Militants sprayed bullets on our personnel who were working on the road this evening. Five personnel including Lt. Col. Ajay Verma, assistant executive engineer S K Singh and three other personnel were killed in the ambush," BRO chief engineer Brigadier Bhutani told rediff.com.
"The firing is still going on and army and police reinforcements have been rushed to the area," Brigadier Bhutani said.
The mountain highway passing through the difficult and forested terrain linking Kashmir valley with Kishtwar and Doda districts of Jammu region was conceived and executed during the chief ministership of the late Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in the late 70s.
This is the first major militant strike this year ahead of the state assembly polls scheduled later this year.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.