Four militants were killed in an encounter with security forces on Thursday near Jammu, while they were attempting to travel in a truck to Srinagar.
Police said the four were killed in a brief gunfight when the truck, moving towards Srinagar was signalled to stop by security forces at one of the check points near Ban Toll Plaza.
Soon after security personnel started checking the truck, four militants hiding inside in a bunker-like structure opened fire, leading to a fierce gunfight where all were killed. Jammu Inspector General of Police Mukesh Singh told CNN-News18 that searches were ongoing in the area to check the presence of any more militants. "Three to four militants have been killed and the truck in which they were travelling has been partially damaged," he said, adding police was trying to ascertain the identity and the affiliation of the militants.
The second such operation this year, three militants were killed on January 31 while trying to enter into Kashmir.
The Jammu-Srinagar highway has often been used by militants in attempts to carry out sneak-and-strike attacks. Their modus operandi is to breach boundary at various points to enter Jammu, and after hitching a vehicle by force they carry out suicide attacks on the army or police installations.
A day earlier, twelve civilians sustained injuries in a grenade attack by militants on a team of security force personnel in Pulwama district. The incident took place in the Kakapora area of Pulwama, a police official said. He said the grenade missed the intended target and exploded on the road. Twelve civilians sustained splinter injuries in the explosion, the official said, adding they were taken to a nearby hospital.
In February 2019, at Lethpora in the Pulwama district, a convoy of vehicles carrying security personnel on the Jammu Srinagar National Highway was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber, resulting in the deaths of 40 CRPF personnel and the attacker. The Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the attack.